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A thesis presented to the Eaculty of the U.S. Army 
Command and General Staff College in partial 
fulfillment of the requirements for the 

Military History 


B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1994 
M.A., Eiberal Arts, Louisiana State University, 2009 

Eort Leavenworth, Kansas 

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Master’s Thesis 

3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 

FEB 2009 - DEC 2009 


Eaw, Ethics, and Morality in War During the Battle of Algiers 5b. grant number 



Major Jonathan D. Howell 




U.S. Army Command and General Staff College 


Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2301 






Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited 




The most notorious period of the French-Algerian War was the Battle of Algiers. The war was brought on by 
many developments beginning with the original French invasion in 1830 and subsequent annexation of Algeria as 
part of the French empire. Ultimately, the simplistic legal definition of who was French and enduring distinctions 
between citizens and subjects were at the root of the war. Noteworthy international land warfare laws evolved 
during France’s rule of Algeria. Notable acts of legislation compounded the discrimination between the French 
and the Algerians. These laws, many overwhelmingly supported in a nation founded upon the idea of equality, 
culminated with special powers extended to the military when the politicians and domestic law enforcement 
entities could no longer maintain the status quo discrimination. Algerians found themselves protected by neither 
domestic nor international laws. Notwithstanding the legality of French actions, moral and ethical contradictions 
with French concepts of the rights of man prevented military success from eliminating dissent domestically as well 
as internationally. Legitimate war must therefore not only be legal but also moral and ethical or popular support 
may diminish, falter, or even disappear. There are distinctive parallels between the French-Algerian War and the 
Global War on Terror—The Long War beyond the origins of contemporary doctrine for counterinsurgency. The 
study of these historical lessons, provides examples of good and bad, right and wrong, insight for success and, just 
as important, foreshadowing of failed tactics and techniques to avoid. 


International Laws of Land Warfare, Lieber Code, Indigenous Code, Geneva Convention, Hague Convention, 
Ethics, French-Algerian War, Battle of Algiers, Torture, Global War on Terrorism—The Long War (GWOT) 













19b. PHONE NUMBER (include area code] 

Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) 

Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 



Name of Candidate: Jonathan D. Howell 

Thesis Title: Law, Ethics, and Morality in War During the Battle of Algiers 

Approved by: 

Jonathan M. House, Ph.D. 

Thesis Committee Chair 

Tony R. Mullis, Ph.D. 

, Member 

David Hunter-Chester, M.A. 

, Member 

Accepted this 11th day of December 2009 by: 

Robert F. Baumann, Ph.D. 

, Director, Graduate Degree Programs 

The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student author and do not 
necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or 
any other governmental agency. (References to this study should include the foregoing 


by Jonathan D. Howell, 98 pages. 

The most notorious period of the Ereneh-Algerian War was the Battle of Algiers. The war 
was brought on by many developments beginning with the original Ereneh invasion in 
1830 and subsequent annexation of Algeria as part of the Ereneh empire. Ultimately, the 
simplistic legal definition of who was Ereneh and enduring distinctions between citizens 
and subjects were at the root of the war. Noteworthy international land warfare laws 
evolved during Erance’s rule of Algeria. Notable acts of legislation compounded the 
discrimination between the Ereneh and the Algerians. These laws, many overwhelmingly 
supported in a nation founded upon the idea of equality, culminated with special powers 
extended to the military when the politicians and domestic law enforcement entities could 
no longer maintain the status quo discrimination. Algerians found themselves protected 
by neither domestic nor international laws. Notwithstanding the legality of Ereneh 
actions, moral and ethical contradictions with Ereneh concepts of the rights of man 
prevented military success from eliminating dissent domestically as well as 
internationally. Eegitimate war must therefore not only be legal but also moral and ethical 
or popular support may diminish, falter, or even disappear. There are distinctive parallels 
between the Ereneh-Algerian War and the Global War on Terror—The Long War beyond 
the origins of contemporary doctrine for counterinsurgency. The study of these historical 
lessons, provides examples of good and bad, right and wrong, insight for success and, just 
as important, foreshadowing of failed tactics and techniques to avoid. 


To my family first and foremost, thank you for your patience and encouragement 
to pursue this topic. Your support while I completed two Masters simultaneously and 
worked on my professional engineer license is beyond measure. Thank you. 

No student could proceed without sources for research. The librarians at the 
Combined Arms Research Eibrary were most supportive and are host to the greatest 
collection of materials in one place for as definitive study of any topic that a U.S. military 
officer could hope to have available. Their assembly of books, downloads, translations, 
and other published works simplified the task of independent study. 

Many thanks must also be given to the patience of my committee. Unbeknownst 
to them for the greater part of my study of the Battle of Algiers I did not know just what 
it was that I expected to discover. Perhaps this is just as well given that I have resolved to 
continue my study in greater depth. 

The parallels between the Erench experience in Algeria and the United States of 
America’s ongoing experience in Iraq and Afghanistan are unnerving. The laws regarding 
how the Erench treated indigenous peoples are eerily similar to the ambiguous definition 
of contemporary detainees in the Global War on Terror—The Long War. In much the 
same way that contemporary detainees are not treated as prisoners of war nor afforded 
protection of arrested criminals, Algerians were neither prisoners of war nor provided the 
protection of Erench laws as they were not Erench citizens although they lived on Erench 
domestic territory. Even with obligatory arrest documentation, the perceived injustice of 
treatment ethically and morally was sufficient to influence domestic Erench opinion 
negatively after initial overwhelming popular support. 












Contradictions in Eaw and War.I 

Algeria Becomes Part of France.2 


The Eve of Battle-1954-1956.7 

Body of Research.12 


19th Century Eaw.22 

The Geneva Convention of 1864.23 

Eieber Code of 1863.24 

The Indigenous Codes of 1865 and 1881.29 

20th Century Eaw.31 

Hague Conference of 1907.31 

Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949.32 

Special Powers Act of 12 March 1956.33 

21st Century Eaw.35 

Patriot Act of 26 October 2001.35 

Military Commissions Act of 2006.37 


The Battle of Algiers.42 

Modern Warfare.47 


Small Wars.54 



Harsh Measures.58 





Comparison to the Global War on Terror--The Long War.70 





























Armee de Liberation Nationale (National Liberation Army) 

Centre d’Instruction et de Preparation a la Contre-Guerilla (Center for 
Training and Preparation for Counter-Guerrilla War) 

C ounterinsurgeney 

C ounterterrorism 

Dispositif de Protection Urbain (Urban Security Service) 

Front de Liberation Nationale (National Liberation Front 
Field Manual 

Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aeroportes (Mixed Airborne 
Commando Group) 

Global War on Terrorism—The Long War 

International Committee of the Red Cross 

Mouvement National Algerien (Algerian National Movement) 

Noncommissioned officer 

Operation Iraqi Freedom 

Occasional Paper 

Organisation de I Armee Secrete (Organization of the Secret Army) 
Organisation Special (Special Organization) 

Parti Communiste Algerien (French Communist Party) 

Parti Communiste Frangaise (French Communist Party) 

Parti Peuples Algerien (Algerian Peoples’ Party) 

Section Administrative Specialisee (Special Administration Section) 
United States 



Young Men’s Christian Association 

Zone Autonome d Alger (Autonomous Zone of Algiers) 




Figure 1. New York Journal cartoon.76 

Figure 2. Map of Algeria.77 

Figure 3. Map of Algeria with Military Boundaries.78 

Figure 4. Map of the city of Algiers.79 

Figure 5. The Victory Over Terrorism-The Smallpox Chart.80 




Table 1. Guilty Verdicts from August 1957 (Algiers Military Tribunal).81 




Contradictions in Law and War 

The field of researeh into the Algerian War is vast in size, and much of it 
as yet un-reeonnoitred. 

— Lt. Colonel Frederic Guelton^ 

The French-Algerian War, or the Algerian War of Independence, is a huge topie, 

as Lieutenant Colonel Guelton noted in 2002. Even the most notorious period of the war, 

the Battle of Algiers, is a broad topie. The history of international and domestic laws for 

war and, more speeifically, how they influenced the way in which the Battle of Algiers 

was fought is the subject of this analysis. Further, French military advocates promoted 

multiple theories for eounterinsurgency, eounterterrorism, and counter-guerrilla warfare 

leading up to the battle. However, not all of these theories placed a preponderance of 

emphasis on the rule of law in the balanee of a triad for legitimacy including morality and 

ethics in addition to legality. Competing strategies to conduct war legitimately as 

perceived by the population must not only be legal but also moral and ethieal or popular 

support may diminish and falter or even disappear. 

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between international 

laws for war and domestic laws of the French during the Battle of Algiers balanced with 

the requirements to conduet moral and ethical combat. The objective is to determine if 

eontradictions in the balance of legal, moral, and ethieal requirements placed on military 

forces influence the outcome of a conflict in contrast to battlefield operations. More 

simply put, is it possible to aehieve a perceived legitimate vietory in a legally acceptable 

confiiet by immoral or unethieal means? While the answer would seem to be obviously 


“no,” all three elements are dynamie and it is possible to make adjustments in order to 
eliminate the eontradietions restoring balance. Nonetheless, this study suggests that 
equivocation on what is and is not explicitly legal has less importance than maintaining 
the societal and cultural values of citizens, expressed in collective morals and ethics, 
called upon to support any action with blood and treasure. 

This review of the Battle of Algiers also includes a historical comparison to two 
controversial American counterinsurgency operations: the Philippine-American War and 
the ongoing contemporary U.S.-Iraq War, more commonly known as Operation Iraqi 
Freedom (OIF), part of the Global War on Terror—The Long War (GWOT). By studying 
the Battle of Algiers, perhaps the U.S. may avoid the mistakes of the past. 

Algeria Becomes Part of France 
L ’Algerie, c ’est la France! 

Pierre Mendes-France 

The birth of the French republic in 1789 amidst the throes of the French 
Revolution foreshadowed the manner in which Algeria was defined as well. Justification 
for conflict in Algeria was seldom if ever explicitly legal by contemporary standards or 
demonstrably legitimate in practice. Notwithstanding, French law and French conflict 
framed Algeria from 1830 through 1962. 

Ironically, the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity (or brotherhood)^ 
expressed in the French national motto and the explicit equality defined in the French 


*Algeria is France! This became the definitive justification for military action in 
Algeria by the French government beginning in 1954. The illegitimate counterterrorist 
group known as the Organization of the Secret Army (OAS, Organisation de I’Armee 
Secrete) added, “and will remain so” {et le restera), to the original justification in its 


Revolution’s essential doeument, the Deelaration of the Rights of Man and of the 
Citizen,^ were not applied to Algerians. Adoption of the Indigenous Code^ in 1865 
legally justified Freneh departure from traditional moral and ethieal prineiples. Despite 
the altruistie intentions of the Deelaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 
Franee’s history with religious and ethnie aceeptanee was diseriminatory. 

Franee aetually implemented the Indigenous Code in Algeria on Bastille Day, 14 
July 1865, after nearly 17 years as an integral part of France. Subsequent modification of 
the Indigenous Code in 1881 legalized an inferior position for all Algerians and 
ultimately all French subjects as well, in order to address the challenges of governing a 
growing French empire. While French subjects could petition for French citizenship 
under the Indigenous Code, the benefits of citizenship were not transferable to 
subsequent generations, ensuring legalized discrimination based on ethnicity and, more 
significantly for Algerians, religion. A further act of religious discrimination was 
demonstrated by “conferring automatic French citizenship upon the whole Jewish 


community of Algeria” in 1870 by the Cremieux Decrees. 

Only Muslims were expected to officially renounce their religion to obtain 
citizenship. Even though they could legally practice their religion afterwards, cultural and 
religious identity and distinctiveness would inevitably be diminished as each generation 
would have to repeat such apostasy. Intended to delegitimize the competing authority of 

^Liberte, egalite, fraternite. 

^Declaration des droits de I’Homme et du citoyen. 
^Code de I’Indigenat. 


Islamic courts with secular French courts, such an extreme measure ensured eultural and 
religious diserimination from the perspective of Muslims. 

Immediately following the German surrender of the Seeond World War, 

Algerians assembled for representation and recognition. Alistair Horne deseribed Setif, 
Algeria, as “A Town of No Great Interest,” yet the events in Setif on 8 May 1945 resulted 
in a transition point for many Algerians from peaceful petition to open revolt and 
insurrection."^ While the partieulars of the day are unclear, the response by the French 
government was immediate, intense, and overwhelming. It became known as the Setif 

While most of Europe eelebrated the end of the Seeond World War, Algerians in 
Setif marehed ostensibly to pay tribute to the fallen Muslims at the town monument. 
Notwithstanding the presumption of a peaeeful if somber procession, those in the 
assembly were elearly harboring resentment. Whether the French police or armed 
troublemakers among the marehers fired the first shots, shoeking atroeities oecurred over 
the next five days. Algerians hunted down Europeans as enraged locals murdered, raped, 
mutilated, and burned whole towns. The Algerian nationalists slaughtered more than one 
hundred men and women including the elderly as well as ehildren. The ensuing Erench 
response resulted in thousands of Algerian deaths; the preeise figures are uncertain but 
totals range from a low estimate of 6,000 to over 50,000. 

Applying the same teehniques used by Eield Marshal Robert Thomas Bugeaud in 
Algeria 100 years earlier; techniques whieh were also deplored by Samuel Clemens and 
Eieutenant General Nelson A. Miles in the Philippines 50 years later, the Erench 
authorities employed “Senegalese units legendary for their ferocity” and “involved a 


number of summary executions.”^ These so called “‘pacifying’ operations” included 
bombing more than forty “less accessible mechtas, or Muslim villages . . . while the 
cruiser Duguay-Trouin lying off in the Gulf of Bougie bombarded the environs of Kerrata 
at extreme range (and, presumably, comparable accuracy)”^ (see figures 2 and 3). 

The French official reaction implemented what would continue to be the primary 
method of addressing Algerian desire for reform—military intervention. Seemingly 
ignorant of the evolution of public perception involving brutal treatment of indigenous 
peoples, the French government ultimately legalized “all necessary measures,” even those 
in dissonance with prevailing national values, to restore stability. Commanding the 
French military operations following the Setif Massacre, General Raymond-Francis 
Duval reported, “I have secured you peace for ten years. If France does nothing, it will all 
happen again, only next time it will be worse and may well be irreparable.”’ It was to be 
a remarkably accurate forecast. 


The Muslim resident is French; however, he will continue to be subjected to 
Muslim law. He may be admitted to serve in the terrestrial and marine Army. He 
may be called to functions and civil employment in Algeria. He may, on his 
demand, be admitted to enjoy the rights of a French citizen; in this case, he is 


subjected to the political and civil laws of France. 

Through an ironic turn of counterrevolutionary application, the corvee** 
previously outlawed by the French Revolution, was reinstated as prestation^^ in 1871. 
With this, the Indigenous Code created a subordinate work force taxed by the French 

**Compelled labor imposed by the state or a chore imposed by an authority figure. 
^^Payment of an obligation. 


empire to provide funds and serviees for Franee, subjeet to punishment outside of due 
proeess, and further subjeet to eompulsory eonseription distinetly from genuine Freneh 
eitizens. The faet that the European residents of Algeria (pieds noir^^) expeeted sueh 
obligations and the Algerian people endured them so long is remarkable eonsidering that 
the ultimate objeetive of the Indigenous Code was to produee Freneh eitizens. 

Thousands of native Algerians served Freneh authorities without reeeiving the 
privileges of Freneh eitizenship. In faet, only a very limited number of Algerians ever 
beeame Freneh eitizens. Aeeording to Alistair Horne, “by 1936, after seventy-five years 
of ‘assimilation’, no more than 2,500 Muslims had aetually erossed the bar to Freneh 
eitizenship.”^ In 1944, Frenehman Robert Aron noted, “Franee did mueh for Algeria, too 
little for the Algerians.”'^ 

Many Algerians, whose eulture was less alien to that of Franee or who had 
learned to speak Freneh, adopted Franee by serviee in the military. Military duty, 
however, was insuffieient to aehieve Freneh eitizenship. In the First World War, 173,000 
Algerians served in the Army of Afriea, approximately 25,000 of these died. Many of 
the leaders of the National Liberation Front (FLN^^) had also served with the Freneh 
army during the Seeond World War. Three of the nine founding members of the FEN, 
known as the neufhistoriques*** Ben Bella, Mostefa Ben Boulaid, and Belkaeem Krim, 

^^Common term for Algerian residents of European deseent, literally “blaek feet” 
perhaps aseribed to work boots or military boots. Another eommonly used term to 
deseribe non-native Algerians was colons, literally “eolonist.” 

^^Front de Liberation Nationale. 

***The neufhistoriques: Hoeine Ait Ahmed, Ahmed Ben Bella, Mostefa Ben 
Boulaid, Larbi Ben M’Hidi, Rabbah Bitat, Mohamed Boudiaf, Mourad Didouehe, 
Mohamed Khider, and Belkaeem Krim. 


were in faet decorated and promoted for their actions with the French army. Even before 
serving himself, Belkacem Krim noted “My brother returned from Europe with medals 
and frost-bitten feet! There everyone was equal. Why not here?” Both exemplifying the 
pieds noir expectations that distinctions between Europeans and Algerians should be 
maintained and highlighting the reasons for Belkacem Krim’s voiced frustration, the 
senator from Oran in 1919 remarked; “The indigenes have fulfilled their duty vis-d-vis 
ourselves and deserve to be recompensed. But to do this [facilitate Muslim access to 


Erench citizenship], is it necessary to resort to imprudent measures?” 

Ultimately, moderate Algerians sought recognition of their rights as Erench 

citizens. They sought freedom from the oppression of the discriminatory Indigenous 

Code with its separate punishments and their ambiguous categorization as Erench 

subjects. In 1935 governor-general of Algeria Maurice Violette issued a prophetic 

warning following rejection of his proposal for reform known as “assimilation:” 

When the Muslims protest, you are indignant; when they approve, you are 
suspicious; when they keep quiet, you are fearful. Messieurs, these men have no 
political nation. They do not even demand their religious nation. All they ask is to 
be admitted into yours. If you refuse this, beware lest they do not soon create one 
for themselves.'"^ 

The pieds noir had all the rights of Erench citizenship, but refused to consider granting 
political and social reforms to Algerians that gave any hint of reducing the hegemony and 
monopolistic prosperity of the European minority. 

The Eve of Battle—1954-1956 

The Erench maintain that ‘Algeria is Erance’ and, on paper, admit Algerians to 
full citizenship (with voting rights for 15 Deputies in the Erench National 
Assembly).Yet Algerians are no longer beguiled by the notion that they are 

^'^^In 1947, Erance created the Algerian Parliamentary Assembly with half of the 


Frenchmen. ‘We are only French when they want us to fight or die for them . . . 
Once we loved the French like brothers, and many of us hated to turn against 
them. But now they have put hate into our hearts.’ 

Much as Indochina had sought independence from France at the conclusion of the 
Second World War, independence-minded Algerians asserted their desire for autonomy 
from French imperial power in consonance with the joint declaration by Great Britain and 
America of the Atlantic Charter in 1941.^^ The French crushed the nascent nationalist 
movement in Algeria forcefully during the weeks following the worldwide celebration of 
victory over Germany. Following the Setif Massacre of 1945, Algerian nationalist fervor 
lay temporarily dormant. In French Indochina, there was no such latency. 

Prior to the reemergence of vigorous opposition to French rule in Algeria, the 
Geneva Conference of 1954 established the independence of the individual states of 
Indochina from France after nine years of war culminated with the French defeat at the 
battle of Dien Bien Phu. During the interim, newly installed French Prime Minister Pierre 
Mendes-France additionally brokered independence for Morocco and Tunisia. Both 
Morocco and Tunisia were protectorates^*^ of France with differences from a colony such 
as Indochina. However, having lost these colonies and protectorates, the French were 
more determined than ever to retain control of Algeria. 

120 seats reserved for votes from Muslim Algerians. As Algerians represented nearly 90 
percent of the population, there was disproportionate representation of the non-Muslim 
French European population (see endnote 13). 

^*^A form of international guardianship that arises under international law, which 
governs the relationships between states or nations, when a weaker state surrenders by 
treaty the management of some or all of its international affairs to a stronger state. 
(West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2, The Gale Group, 2008). 


During the interval from the Setif Massaere to the Geneva Conference Messali 
Hadj, a revolutionary Muslim advocate of Algerian independence, founded the 
Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties (MTLD^^^). Placed under house 
arrest in Europe, Hadj ultimately lost control of the MTLD in 1954 and it subsequently 
fractured into disparate groups with different opinions on acceptable means to achieve 
their ends. Prior to its dissolution, the MTLD struggled to exist as a moderate and 
accommodating organization intent on obtaining reconciliation of Algerian grievances 
with France. Basically, the MTLD wanted to achieve progress and recognition in much 
the same way as had Morocco and Tunisia. 

Failing to achieve accommodation within the official French system, reform- 
minded Algerians once again took up active opposition to the distinct and discriminatory 
treatment they endured under French authority. On 1 November 1954, the FLN issued its 
own intent to achieve independence from France. The distinctions between Algeria and 
Indochina, Tunisia and Morocco as wholly French territories or colonial protectorates 
were peculiar as Mendes-France asserted; 

One does not compromise when it comes to defending the internal peace 
of the nation, the unity and integrity of the Republic. The Algerian departments 
are part of the French Republic. They have been French for a long time, and they 
are irrevocably French. . . . Between them and metropolitan France there can be 
no conceivable secession. 

This must be clear once and for all, in Algeria and in metropolitan France 
as much as in the outside world. Never will France—any French government, or 
parliament, whatever may be their particularistic tendencies—yield on this 
fundamental principal. 

Mesdames, Messieurs, several deputies have made comparisons between 

French policy in Algeria and Tunisia. I declare that no parallel is more erroneous, 


that no compromise is falser, or more dangerous. Ici, c ’est la Francel 

^^^Mouvementpour le Triomphe des Liberies Democratiques. 


Even with a policy that Algeria was France and during a period of autonomy extended to 
French protectorates, the French still denied citizenship to the Algerians. 

In 1954, the population of Algeria was 8.7 million, with fewer than 1 million of 
those of European descent. The remainder of the population was primarily Muslim and 
Arab and most notably, marginalized without genuine and credible representation in the 
government that assured them of Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite! While overwhelmingly the 
majority in Algeria and part of domestic France for over 120 years, few enjoyed French 

Algerians fought for the French in both the First and Second World Wars and 
even participated in the official response to the Setif uprising. Nevertheless, the French 
government segregated the Algerians from the Europeans in both political 
accommodations and living conditions. Having been denied the ability to participate 
legitimately in local government, Algerian insurgents attacked the institutions of French 
military authority and, most poignantly, the aspects of civilian French society most 
distinct from Algerian society with coordinated terrorist acts throughout Algeria on 1 
November 1954. 

In addition to the defeat in Indochina and the beginnings of transition to full 
autonomy for Morocco and Tunisia, the events surrounding the Suez Crisis of October 
1956 perhaps especially strengthened the perception in France that international forces 
supported the Algerian insurgency. In the days leading up to the Suez Crisis, the French 
intercepted a Sudanese flagged vessel smuggling weapons bound for Morocco and 
destined for the FFN and paid for with Egyptian funds. The weapons and ammunition 
represented substantial assistance from the Egyptians to the FFN. 


In addition to the capture of weapons, French intelligence also determined that 

senior members of the FLN would be travelling from Morocco to Tunisia. Four of the 

neufhistoriques were afterwards hijacked by the French military by forcing the pilot, a 

French reserve officer, to land in Algiers. The four neufhistoriques thereafter became 

political prisoners held without trial under penalty of death for their crimes.Despite the 

evidence of foreign support leading to internal French instability, violation of Moroccan 

sovereignty by the French military raised international objections. Subsequent 

international condemnation of Britain, France, and Israel in the Suez Crisis influenced 

French leaders, especially military leaders, to place less emphasis on foreign opinion and 

focus more on obtaining tangible national security results. 

National security for the French included the elimination of any insurrection 

within Algeria perceived to be organized, influenced, and funded by international 

communist sympathizers such as the “Soviet-inspired agitation and nationalist 

movements” of Egypt. France became paranoid that “the rebellion was being directed 

from President Nasser’s Cairo, and consequently, it was assumed, by the USSR.” This 

paranoia extended to France’s allies “once the Gaullists concluded not only that the 

enemy was international communism, but that France was alone among the Western 

Allies in recognizing the fact.” Compounding the isolation was a perceived betrayal of 

France by America in Indochina and in Suez: 

. . . America was guilty once again of not recognizing the fundamentally 
anti-Western aspect of national liberation movements; as Debre put it. 

In Washington they refuse to see, behind Arab imperialism, an ardent 
political crusade against the West. . . The American dream which hopes to defend 
the West by replacing France with an anti-European but pro-American 


nationalism is an unheard-of chimera. 


A few months after the Suez Crisis, a new exehange of reprisals between the Algerian 
insurgents, known as fellagha, **** and the pieds noir prompted Freneh leaders to 
implement operations to avoid a pereeived attaek on national sovereignty. 

Sinee the end of the Seeond World War, Freneh and Arab residents of Algeria had 
exchanged attacks, though disguised by subterfuge, and each had taken actions against 
the civilian population of the other, primarily in rural areas. On 10 August 1956, 
however, a large bomb detonated within the Arab district known as the Casbah^^^^ in 
Algiers. The civil authorities were incapable of preventing the fellagha attacks and may 
even have had a part in the August attack or may have at least turned a blind eye upon the 
illicit behavior of one group of the population. The instability in Algeria contributed to 
the failure of both the Mendes-France and the subsequent Edgar Faure premierships. 

Body of Research 

In 1905, George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are 
condemned to repeat it.” Because of the parallels of a Western nation fighting in a less 
developed predominantly Muslim country were obvious, the 1966 film “The Battle of 
Algiers” by Gillo Pontecorvo was shown to high-level administration and military 
officials of the U.S. government as the GWOT began in late 2001. Saadi Yacef, the FEN 
military commander in Algiers was a principal advisor to Pontecorvo. His nemesis Paul 

****Arabic word meaning “bandit” referring in this case to Algerian nationalists 
affiliated with the PEN. 

^^^^Arabic for citadel, in Algiers the Casbah was the focal point for rebel fellagha 
coordination and operations. Based on the original city foundations, its labyrinth-like 
alleyways and byways were unmarked and densely inhabited making anonymous passage 
all the easier. 


Aussaresses, instrumental in intelligence collection during the Battle of Algiers, 
subsequently published his memoir The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter- 
Terrorism in Algeria 1955-1957 in 2002. Ted Morgan, born Comte St. Charles Armand 
Gabriel de Gramont with dual French and American citizenship, published My Battle of 
Algiers: A Memoir in 2005. Again the similarity of protagonists and settings, as well as 
the tragic similarity of terrorist activity precipitating military action in Algeria and Iraq as 
well as the timing of the publications of these memoirs served to highlight French and 
American perspectives on law and war for both the Battle of Algiers and the U.S.-Iraq 
War. Not foregoing the opportunity to comment on the similarities, Morgan portrayed 
U.S. actions of interrogation and torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as having been 
conducted in a “circus atmosphere.” He further defined the acts as both equally 
“ineffective” and “clumsy” in comparison to the cold, ruthless efficiency of Aussaresses 

whom he might characterize as a “sociopath with little regard for human life” or one of 


the “brutes and sadists who like their work.” 

Interestingly, Morgan became a conscripted French soldier in 1955 while working 
in the U.S. as a reporter for the Worcester Telegram in Massachusetts. Morgan’s memoir 
revealed his transformation from pacifist to active participant in brutality and then to 
propagandist and ultimately prey to enhanced interrogation at the hands of French 
intelligence in Algiers. In contrast to Aussaresses, Morgan was not a military professional 

but adapted readily to the expectations of the French army. He also succumbed to the 


ennui of military life and sought a more active role to avoid a self-imposed fatalism. 

Following his own rough treatment of the fellagha, he became a propagandist for 
the 10th Parachute Division, appointed by its commander. General Jacques Massu 


himself. Early in his assignment, through a shared personal eonneetion with the Ameriean 
eonsular offieer in Algiers, Lewis Clark, Morgan met with an Ameriean, Don Davies, 
working in Algiers. Morgan reealled his initial diseussion with Davies regarding the work 
of Massu’s paras. ‘“Massu may help stop the terrorism,’ Davies said, ‘but he’s also 
digging the diteh that separates the two eommunities a little deeper by aeting on the 
theory that every Arab is guilty until proven innoeent. For every terrorist he eatches, he 
makes two more Arab enemies.’’’^^ 

Prior to the reeent memoirs of Paul Aussaresses and Ted Morgan, Martin Evans 
published The Memory of Resistance: French Opposition to the Algerian War (1954- 
1962) in 1997. An Algerian viewpoint for the Battle of Algiers and in faet the entire 
Freneh-Algerian War, Mouloud Feraoun’s Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the 
French-Algerian War presented a day-by-day aeeount from a Muslim perspeetive. All of 
these works identified the extreme methods the Freneh military used against Algerians to 
dismantle the Algerian terrorist network and insurgeney. The alienation of one part of the 
population for the proteetion of another was raeist and unethieal yet legal. 

The definitive history of the Freneh-Algerian War, A Savage War of Peace: 
Algeria 1954-1962, by Alistair Horne, provided mueh of the objeetive baekground for 
this study. Mouloud Feraoun’s Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the Freneh-Algerian 
War was instrumental for aetual aeeounts during the Battle of Algiers. Feraoun’s daily 
eontemplations highlighted the anxiety, fear, and vision of further violenee propagated by 
the retribution and vengeanee in Algeria. His assassination by the Organization of the 


Secret Army (OAS^^*^) was intended to disrupt the 1962 peace talks known as the Evian 
Accords but merely continued a pieds noir penchant for silencing parties willing to 
negotiate.Ultimately, Feraoun was the ideal indigene^^^^ desired under the Indigenous 
Code and promoted by Algerian governor-general Maurice Violette. Feraoun’s most 
significant contribution for this study was providing the unique lens of actually enduring 
modern warfare in practice. 

Among soldiers, Roger Trinquier documented French theory for 
counterinsurgency warfare in Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency. 
David Galula captured his thoughts in Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice. 
Aspects of the collection of intelligence described by Trinquier, Aussaresses, and Morgan 
also appear in more disturbing and visceral detail in The Question by Henri Alleg. Galula 
further described the related theory of pacification in Pacification in Algeria 1956-1958. 
Simon Murray described the tactics in the field of the French Foreign Fegion in his 
memoir Legionnaire providing insight similar to Morgan’s experiences and in contrast to 
native French perspectives. 

Domestic French perspective on international relations, national security, and a 
growing sense of isolation was described in an essay by Stephen Tyre in France and the 
Algerian War (1954-62): Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy entitled “The Gaullists, 
the French army and Algeria before 1958: Common Cause or Marriage of Convenience?” 
Another short essay “The French Army ‘Centre for Training and Preparation in Counter- 

VA%Organization de TArmee Secrete. 

§§§§Meaning an indigenous person of Algeria, not a settler. 


Guerrilla Warfare’ (CIPCG*****) at Arzew” by Lt. Colonel Frederie Guelton in France 
and the Algerian War provided further insight to Freneh strategy and operations. France 
and the Algerian War edited by Martin S. Alexander and J.F.V. Keiger furthermore 
provided support for the applieation of taeties through the short artiele “A Case of 
Suecessful Paeification: the 548th Bataillon du Train at Bordj de I’Agha (1956-57)” by 
Alexander Zervoudakis. Colleetively, the three artieles by Tyre, Guelton, and 
Zervoudakis provided elear insight to the fraetures between the ends, ways, and means, 
respeetively, of Freneh national strategy. A national-level paranoia justified extreme 
measures to ensure seeurity despite the presenee of a military eenter for eultural 
understanding and eapable offieers with effeetive teehniques to neutralize the insurgents 
without alienating the population. Both Alexander and Keiger collaborated with Martin 
Evans to edit another publication The Algerian War and the French Army, 1954-62: 
Experiences, Images, Testimonies which documented the psychological effects of 
Algerian combat on the French soldiers and, more significantly, the experiences of native 
Algerians known as harkis who fought with the French against the FEN. 

In direct opposition to the Erench army strategy. The Algerian Guerrilla 
Campaign: Strategy and Tactics by Abder-Rahmane Derradji presented the fellagha 's 
vision. Eurthermore, this work identified the competing operational challenges of the 
struggle against the Algerian Nationalist Movement (MNA^^^^^). Eounded by Messali 
Hadj when he transformed the MTLD, the MNA and the EEN waged a second war in 
Algeria and metropolitan Erance known as the cafe wars. Interestingly, the MTED itself 

Centre d’Instruction et de Preparation a la Contre-Guerilla. 

^^^^^Mouvement Nationaliste Algerien. 


had risen from the banned Algerian Peoples’ Party (PPA^^*^^). The FLN itself was an 
offshoot from the Seeret Organization and had been born from dissatisfaction 

within the MTLD and with Hadj’s vision. While the MNA remained united under the 
singular direction of Hadj even while he was under French arrest. The FLN was more 
dynamic with its hydra-headed leadership springing from the nine founding members 
known as the neuf historiques. Several of the neufhistoriques, as well, began their 
independence struggle with the MTLD. Popular French opposition to the Algerian War 
characterized by so-called suitcase carriers was expressed in Martin Evans’ book The 
Memory of Resistance. Additional opposition to French government actions came from 
Hadj in his article, “Fight Against French Imperialism!” and from Mohammed Harbi’s 
article “Massacre in Algeria.” Both men were active throughout the French-Algerian War 
with the Algerian nationalist movements. 

Research for this topic included perspectives from French government figures 
including prominent French Communist Party (PCF******) member Jacques Duclos, 
found in his published speech on 12 March 1956 entitled “Jacques Duclos Explains the 
Communist Vote in Eavor of the Government.” Eurther sources included actual 
legislation passed such as the Indigenous Codes of 1865 and 1881 and the Special Powers 
Act of 12 March 1956, which interestingly extended the military service obligation of 

-5 1 

conscripts such as Ted Morgan. 

du Peuple Algerien. 
Organisation Special. 

****** Parti Communiste Frangaise. 


International land warfare laws for the 19th and 20th centuries are documented in 

the Yale Law School’s online directory known as The Avalon Project at The text of the Lieber Code, notable in 19th century land 
warfare legislation, is available in two editions of the Combat Studies Institute Press’s 
Occasional Paper (OP) series which also provided background on the Philippine- 
American War. OP 24, Savage Wars of Peace: Case Studies of Pacification in the 
Philippines, 1900-1902 also provided an examination of the consequences for lack of 
popular domestic support in the continued justification of war. The most recent 21st 
century legislation passed in the U.S. is available at the Library of Congress online at 

Twenty-two additional articles published in Time throughout the eight-year 
French-Algerian War illustrated the self-defeating alternative terrorist acts of the pieds 
noir and the French army’s brutal implementation of harsh measures. However, John 
Talbott’s “The Strange Death of Maurice Audin,” published in the Virginia Quarterly 
Review in the Spring 1976 issue poignantly demonstrated the presumption of guilt by the 
military on the very citizens and subjects that Trinquier and Galula identified as the 
center of gravity. Article 9 of France’s defining constitutional document, the Declaration 
of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,^^^^^^ states, “As all persons are held innocent 
until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, all 
harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner’s person shall be severely repressed 
by law.” While not absolutely in consonance with Napoleonic law regarding guilt and 
innocence, the perception of injustice on the part of European French citizens and 
Declaration des droits de THomme et du citoyen. 


Algerians as well as Amerieans was implicit. The case of Maurice Audin, coupled with 
Henri Alleg and in parallel with the assassination of Mouloud Feraoun, demonstrated just 
how acute the bitterness against Muslim ascension to full citizenship affected European 
French (injsensibility. 

'Frederic Guelton, “The French Army ‘Centre for Training and Preparation in 
Counter-Guerrilla Warfare’ (CIPCG) at Arzew” 'm France and the Algerian War (1954- 
62): Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy (Fondon, UK; Frank Cass, 2002), 34. 

^Alistair Home, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: The 
Viking Press, 1978), 98. 

^Ibid., 36. 

%id., 23. 

^Ibid., 26. 


^Mohammed Harbi, “Massacre in Algeria,” Le Monde diplomatique-English 
Edition, May 2005, http://mondediplo.eom/2005/05/14algeria (accessed 3 November 
2009); and Annie Rey-Goldzeiguer, Aux origins de la guerre d’Algerie 1940-45 (Paris: 

Fe Decouverte, 2002), 330-334. 


Indigenous Code, 14 July 1865, 
D%C3%A9cret_d%27application_de_la_loi_du_14juillet_1865 (accessed 3 November 
2009), Article 1. 

^Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 35. 

'>id., 65. 


'^Ibid., 77. 

'^Ibid., 36. 

'^Ibid., 37. 

'^Unattributed, “Revolt of the Fellagha,” Time, 26 December 1955. 


'^Mohammed Harbi, “Massacre in Algeria,” Le Monde diplomatique-English 
Edition, May 2005, http://mondediplo.eom/2005/05/14algeria (accessed 3 November 

'^Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 94-95. 

'^Ibid., 98. 

'^Helen Chapman Metz, Algeria: a country study (Washington, DC: U.S. 
Government Publishing Offiee, 1994), 76. 

^°Horne, Savage War of Peace, 157-164. 


Stephen Tyre, “The Gaullists, the Freneh Army and Algeria before 1958: 
Common Cause or Marriage of Convenience?” France and the Algerian War (1954-62): 
Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2002), 103. 




Journal Officiel de la Republique Frangaise, Conseil de la Republique, 14 
January 1958. 


Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 184. 


George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1 (New York, NY: Charles 
Scribner’s Sons, 1905), 
(aceessed November 2009). 

^^Ted Morgan, My Battle of Algiers, (New York, NY: Smithsonian Books, 2005), 


^^Ibid., 76, 92, 125. 

^^Ibid., 129. 


Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 37. 

^'Benjamin Stora, Algeria, 1830-2000: A Short History (Ithaea, NY: Cornell 
University Press, 2001), 47; and John Talbott, “The Strange Death of Maurice Audin,” 
Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 1976): 224-242, 
spring/talbott-strange-death/ (aceessed 3 November 2009); and Morgan, 128. 


National Assembly of France, “Deelaration of the Rights of Man and of the 
Citizen” (Paris: National Assembly of Franee, 26 August 1789), Artiele 9. 




The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not 

— Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II), Article 22. 

I cannot believe that this is me; that my senses have been dulled to this 
extent, that I am past caring about anything or that my values have disappeared. 
What are my values? Christ, what a thought. 

— Simon Murray, Legionnaire^ 

Hugo Grotius, a Dutch philosopher, jurist, and theologian undertook some of the 
earliest work to develop international laws for land warfare. In 1625 his three-volume set. 
On The Law of War and Peace* explained legitimate causes for war. The second volume 
actually defined examples of legitimate causes and more significantly provided 
reparations and punishments for violations. The final volume actually set forth 
appropriate conduct for combatants and treatment of both prisoners and neutral parties. 
This work on laws for war followed Grotius’ earlier publication of The Free Sea^ in 
1609. Establishing the international usage of the seas, the ability of states or nations to 
stake maritime claims was limited to the range of weapons capable of defending them. 
Defined after Grotius’ death in 1702 this gave rise to acceptance of the three-mile limit in 
staking maritime claims. Grotius’ extensive thought coupled with his general guidelines 
provided sufficient foundation for consensus around and adoption of the principles he 
championed as the basis for international law. These principles endured with growing 
international adoption and acceptance without much change for over 200 years. 

De Jure Belli ac Pads. 

^Mare Liberum. 


Land warfare laws affected the conduct of both French and American military 
leaders as well. The laws for land warfare evolved through consideration of the impact on 
the local population affected by the wars as well as through the popular perception by 
domestic citizens. This evolution has been captured from America’s Lieber Code in 1863 
and France’s Indigenous Codes of 1865 and 1881, through the international Hague 
Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and interspersed along the way with several international 
Geneva Conventions. 

These bodies of laws, both domestic and international, were influenced by 
perception of advocates who sought to ensure warfare would be conducted in a just 
manner as Hugo Grotius had in the 17th century. Policy makers and others in authority 
should heed advocates of just war. History demonstrates if they do not, they are in peril 
of losing support for a cause while simultaneously attempting to practice an effective and 
perhaps legally-evolving war. Even so, while maintaining appropriate legal conditions are 
important they are not singular in importance to preserving legitimacy. In order to sustain 
the support of the population called upon to supply blood and treasure, ethics and 
morality are of equal if not greater importance. These aspects may also evolve through 

19th Century Law 

Modern times are distinguished from earlier ages by the existence at one 
and the same time of many nations and great governments related to one another 
in close intercourse. 

Peace is the normal condition; war is the exception. The ultimate object of 
all modern war is a renewed state of peace. 

The more vigorously wars are pursued the better it is for humanity. Sharp 
wars are brief ^ 


Views of warfare in the late 19th eentury ineluded the eoneept that intense aetion 
would lead to shortened eonfliet and thereby reduee easualties. Sueh a noble purpose 
ignored the suffering of those individuals eaught between the eombatants. Just as the 
developments of the Gatling gun by Riehard Gatling and dynamite by Alfred Nobel 
ereated easier ways to kill despite the hopes of their inventors, the results of unbounded 
warfare were reprisals and esealation of atroeities. The published effeets deseribed from 
these aets were beyond the limits of moral and ethieal expeetations of many nations, 
governments, and individual people and eventually prompted international aetion for 
humanitarian reform by way of Algeria. 

The Geneva Convention of 1864 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, 
neutral and independent organization whose exelusively humanitarian mission is 
to proteet the lives and dignity of vietims of armed eonfliet and other situations of 
violenee and to provide them with assistanee. 

The ICRC also endeavors to prevent suffering by promoting and 
strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian prineiples. 

Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions 
and the International Red Cross and Red Creseent Movement. It direets and 
eoordinates the international aetivities eondueted by the Movement in armed 
eonfliets and other situations of violenee.^ 

In 1856, a Swiss entrepreneur and advoeate for the Young Men’s Christian 
Assoeiation (YMCA) named Henry Dunant opened an agrieultural and exporting 
business in Setif, Algeria. In 1859, as a result of diffieulty in dealing with the loeal 
government in Algeria, Dunant planned to appeal for intervention direetly to Emperor 
Napoleon III who was on eampaign in Italy against Austria. Ultimately, Dunant met 
Napoleon III on the field following a day of fighting. He subsequently doeumented the 
aftermath of the Battle of Solferino and deseribed in vivid detail the suffering of the 


wounded combatants as well as atrocities against casualties from friend and foe alike. In 
1862, he published A Memory of Solferino using his own funds.Its circulation and 
widespread reception led to the development of the International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC) in 1863 and subsequently led to the first Geneva Convention in 1864 and 
established the “obligatory force from the implied consent of the states which accepted 
and applied them in the conduct of their military operations.”^ France was one of the 
original twelve signatories of the first Geneva Convention in 1864. The United States 
followed the lead of other international powers with ratification in 1882. The creation of 
the YMCA and ICRC as well as the ratification of the first Geneva Convention clearly 
demonstrated the evolution of government and public perception of acceptable practice in 

Lieber Code of 1863 

A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence 
of the occupation, under the martial law of the invading or occupying army, 
whether any proclamation declaring martial law, or any public warning to the 
inhabitants, has been issued or not. Martial law is the immediate and direct effect 
and consequence of occupation or conquest. 

The presence of a hostile army proclaims its martial law.^ 

About the same time that Henry Dunant was establishing the ICRC in 1863, the 
United States of America published General Order 100, Instructions for the Government 
of Armies of the United States in the Field. General Order 100 was also commonly 
known as the Lieber Code after its primary author, Francis Lieber. Published in 1863, this 
regulation was the first modern attempt to codify the treatment of insurgents who were 
not part of the organized army of a nation state. The Lieber Code granted liberal and 
ultimate power to the U.S. military forces operating in areas without civil government in 


order to promote the restoration of domestie administration and government through 
martial law; “Martial law is simply military authority exercised in accordance with the 

laws and usages of war.”^ 

The foundation for the Lieber Code was the commonly accepted practice of 
warfare of that period. Both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps benefited from the 
authority to serve as judge, jury, and executioner during counterinsurgency operations 
such as those conducted during the Caribbean “Banana Wars,” and most poignantly in the 
Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century. 

Among the documented principles in the Lieber Code were the use of military 
tribunals or courts to judge conduct by military personnel and civilians, both American 
and otherwise. In principle, with the ability to review actions taken, the Lieber Code 
sought to maintain restraint and mutual respect between combatants by avoiding 
unnecessary escalation of hostilities: 

Military oppression is not martial law; it is the abuse of the power which that law 
confers. As martial law is executed by military force, it is incumbent upon those 
who administer it to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and 
humanity—virtues adorning a soldier even more than other men, for the very 
reason that he possesses the power of his arms against the unarmed.^ 

Notwithstanding otherwise righteous principles, one of the more controversial aspects of 

the Lieber Code was the authorization for the military to carry out reprisals in response to 

acts committed by enemy forces: 

The law of war can no more wholly dispense with retaliation than can the 
law of nations, of which it is a branch. Yet civilized nations acknowledge 
retaliation as the sternest feature of war. A reckless enemy often leaves to his 
opponent no other means of securing himself against the repetition of barbarous 

Retaliation will therefore never be resorted to as a measure of mere 
revenge, but only as a means of protective retribution, and moreover cautiously 
and unavoidably—that is to say, retaliation shall only be resorted to after careful 


inquiry into the real oeeurrenee and character of the misdeeds that may demand 

Unjust or inconsiderate retaliation removes the belligerents farther and 
farther from the mitigating rules of regular war, and by rapid steps leads them 
nearer to the internecine wars of savages.^ 

Viewed from a modern perspective, this equivocation over what constituted a legitimate 
breach of accepted warfare practices set the army on an inevitable path towards the very 
internecine warfare it purported to hope to avoid. 

Foreshadowing the severe measures the U.S. military used later in the Philippines 
and again in Algeria by a different French army, noted French philosopher Alexis de 
Tocqueville remarked in 1841 how such harsh measures were necessary for the war in 

. . . war in Africa is a science. Everyone is familiar with its rules and everyone can 
apply those rules with almost complete certainty of success. One of the greatest 
services that Field Marshal [Thomas Robert] Bugeaud has rendered his country is 
to have spread, perfected and made everyone aware of this new science. ... In 
France, I have often heard men I respect but do not approve of, deplore that crops 
should be burnt and granaries emptied and finally that unarmed men, women and 
children should be seized. In my view these are unfortunate circumstances that 
any people wishing to wage war against the Arabs must accept. 

Later in 1843, Lieutenant Colonel Lucien-Lran 9 ois de Montagnac, a soldier fighting in 

Algeria under Lield Marshal Bugeaud’s command, wrote home of the Lrench military’s 

adoption of de Tocqueville’s recommendations: 

All populations which do not accept our conditions must be despoiled. 
Everything must be seized, devastated, without age or sex distinction: grass must 
not grow any more where the Lrench army has put the foot. Who wants the end 
wants the means, whatever may say our philanthropists. I personally warn all 
good soldiers which I have the honour to lead that if they happen to bring me a 
living Arab, they will receive a beating with the flat of the saber. . . . This is how, 
my dear friend, we must do war against Arabs: kill all men over the age of fifteen, 
take all their women and children, load them onto naval vessels, send them to the 
Marquesas Islands or elsewhere." 


Notwithstanding the esteem of de Toequeville and his soldier advoeate, the Ameriean 

press of the early 1900s did not well receive America’s similar application of the Lieber 

Code in the Philippines following that era’s common practice of warfare. No less notable 

an American figure than Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, characterized 

the legalized conduct of the Philippine-American War as imperialist and predicted the use 

of repressive force against the population: 

... I have carefully read the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American 
War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of 
the Philippines. We have gone to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to 
me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with 

their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I 


am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. 

Later on, a cartoon from the New York Journal (see figure 1) depicting Brigadier General 
Jacob H. Smith’s order for firing squad execution of Philippine boys over the age of ten 
echoed the words of Lieutenant Colonel de Montagnac and seemingly validated 
Clemens’ earlier characterization. 

Any captured person, native to an area where U.S. military operations were taking 
place and held by the U.S. military, were subject to punishment for the actions of 
insurgents and guerrillas opposed to any U.S. occupation, “[t]he citizen or native of a 
hostile country is thus an enemy, as one of the constituents of the hostile state or nation, 
and as such is subjected to the hardships of war.” In some cases far from having 
provided assistance to the insurgents or guerrillas or having actively engaged in explicit 
revolt, these detainees were in peril merely because: 

A prisoner of war remains answerable for his crimes committed against 
the captor’s army or people, committed before he was captured, and for which he 
had not been punished by his own authorities. 

All prisoners of war are liable to the infliction of retaliatory measures. 


Even though the Lieber Code provided consistent and objective legal guidance, by the 
end of the 19th century overzealous commanders exploited imprecise language and lack 
of oversight. Further attempts to control the media subsequently created a domestic 
response in the U.S. against a perceived European way of war; harsh and distinctly un- 

Eventually the U.S. military’s leadership determined that the self-justified legality 

of the Eieber Code in the face of public disapproval was not an effective strategy: 

To add fuel to the fire, the last full-time Commanding General of the [U.S.] 

Army, Eieut. Gen. Nelson A. Miles joined the fray on the side of the critics of the 
Army’s efforts. . . . His reports, submitted in February 1903 . . . repeated many of 
the same charges of the previous years, including . . . destruction of property, the 
use of the water cure,^ and the mistreatment and execution of civilians and 
prisoners. The report, formally released in the Army and Navy Journal, received 
widespread coverage in the newspapers at the time. 

Ultimately, Brigadier General Smith was convicted by a court martial for conduct 
prejudicial to good order and discipline. 

By the end of the 19th century, critics of the Eieber Code found too much leeway 
within its legal definitions and argued that it was far too easy to impose reprisals as 
vengeance or even to use harsh measures in advance as preventative means. One 
additional contributing factor for opposition to the Eieber Code during the Philippine- 
American War was the autonomy military leaders exploited beyond widely held 
principles of the Monroe Doctrine. Consistent with the viewpoint of Samuel Clemens and 
much of the American public, the Philippines were well outside the limits of the Monroe 
Doctrine’s boundaries of the western hemisphere. Eventually political will and military 

^A technique of torture to induce its subject to provide answers during 
interrogation. The method may include pumping a subject’s stomach full of water or 
repeated near drowning by immersion. 


capability merged with the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doetrine when the U.S. 
military began intervention in Latin Ameriea. 

Despite the ehanging international soeial attitudes for aeeeptable eonduet during 
warfare, the Lieber Code further served as an intermediate progression for eontinued 
evolution of land warfare laws as it provided more preeise language than Grotins’ earlier 
work. Ultimately, the U.S. imposed punishment upon its military leaders who exeeeded 
their authority to aet independently and thereby restored the legitimaey of the Lieber 
Code for a time. Identifying the Lieber Code’s shorteomings eventually faeilitated the 
further advanee of land warfare laws in the 20th eentury. 

The Indigenous Codes of 1865 and 1881 

In order to prevent us from erying out: ‘Thief! Assassin! ’ imperialism 
gags us with the Code de I’Indigenat, a vestige of the darkest barbarism. By virtue 
of this eode, all the violenee earned out on the natives by the eolonists are [sie] 
legitimated in advanee. Theft, torture, and murder are openly eneouraged, and the 
guilty assured of impunity. 

During the period between Ameriea’s adoption of the Lieber Code and its 
applieation in the Philippine-Ameriean War, Franee imposed the Indigenous Code upon 
the Algerian people on Bastille Day in 1865, less than one year after signing the first 
Geneva Convention. Charles Louis Napoleon Boneparte, otherwise known as Emperor 
Napoleon III, intended for the Indigenous Code of 1865 to provide Muslim autonomy 
within a portion of Franee. Napoleon III travelled to Algeria and wanted to ereate an 
Arab kingdom within Algeria, essentially a proteetorate, with himself as the king of the 
Arabs. The frequent revision of Freneh eonstitutions during the last half of the 19th 
eentury eontributed to ineonsistent oversight of domestie intentions for Algerians beeause 

of subsequent international oonfiiet sueh as the Franeo-Prussian War. 


Under the Indigenous Code, Napoleon III intended to divide Algeria into a Freneh 
zone, an Arab zone, and a military zone. The eapture of Napoleon III in 1870 during the 
Battle of Sedan, however, ended the idea of an autonomous region within Freneh Algeria. 
Originally well-intentioned, in June 1881 the new Third Freneh Republie revised the 
spirit of the Indigenous Code to explieitly authorize punitive power over the indigenous 

The 1881 revision of the Indigenous Code imposed diserimination upon all 
Freneh subjeets in any Freneh eolony. In Algeria, its punitive measures ensured European 
eontrol of the agrieulturally produetive regions to offset the loss of territories and 
farmlands of Alsaee-Lorraine due to Franee’s defeat in the Franeo-Prussian War. 
Authority to impose punishment was arbitrary for vague offenses sueh as disrespeet and 
resided with the lowest eehelon of Freneh government administration, the Cercle}'' 

These Cercle eommanders wielded the same authority as their U.S. military eounterparts 
during the Philippine-Ameriean War under the Lieber Code: judge, jury, and exeeutioner. 
Ultimately, Cercle eommanders eolleeted taxes, fines, and eoordinated projeets by 
naming ehiefs from the loeal population to serve at their pleasure or whim. New settlers 
displaeed from the lost territories subsequently expanded the eultivation of Algeria 
resulting in the further loss of indigenous Algerian land ownership. 

The inflow of new colons brought voting rights with them and imposed 
progressively harsher eonditions upon the native Algerians by systematieally depriving 
them of land under the authority of the Indigenous Code. The most sueeessful 
entrepreneurs, who beeame known as the grands colons, enjoyed tax breaks from the 
Freneh government to stimulate the growth of their businesses. Their power and 


influence enabled them to designate public projects to enhance their businesses. By the 
middle of the 20th century, Europeans in Algeria earned thirty times the average Algerian 
annual wage. Furthermore, the wealthiest grands colons earned five times the income of 
their counterparts in metropolitan France but paid lower taxes. 

20th Century Faw 
Hague Conference of 1907 

There were significant shortcomings in the application of the Fieber Code during 
the Philippine-American War as Major General Arthur MacArthur noted on 20 December 

In the armed struggle against the sovereign power of the United States 
now in progress in these islands [the Philippines], frequent violations of important 
provisions of the laws of war have recently manifested themselves, rendering it 
imperative ... to remind all concerned of the existence of these laws, that 
exemplary punishments attach to the infringement thereof, and that their strict 
observance is required not only by combatant forces, but as well by 
noncombatants, native or alien, residing within occupied places. 

The Hague Conference of 1907 substantially clarified land warfare laws regarding 

reprisals and retribution. Article 23 on the laws and customs of war on land added to 

prohibitions already expressed in the 1899 Hague Conference; 

[I]t is especially forbidden-... To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible 

in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A 

belligerent is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to 

take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they 


were in the belligerent’s service before the commencement of the war. 

This statement reinforced the earlier and consistent Article 4 protecting prisoners of war 
from individuals and army commanders; “Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile 
Government, but not of the individuals or corps who capture them.” Bound legally. 

commanders were representatives of their governments in the treatment of prisoners of 


war distinct from the individual authority of martial law notwithstanding the Lieber 


Code’s exhortations of soldierly “prineiples of justiee, honor, and humanity.” 

Despite the progress of legal preeision in the evolution of land warfare laws, the 
eoneept that intense eonfliet eould shorten war and spare lives in the long run endured. 
The First World War prompted battles of massive seale in manpower and materiel. 
Governments mobilized their militaries and instituted eonseription. As previously 
mentioned, France ealled upon Algeria and many Algerians responded with serviee in the 
armed forees, for a time enjoying the equality of battlefield hardships. 

Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949 

Most of the small wars of the United States have resulted from the 
obligation of the Government under the spirit of the Monroe Doetrine and have 
been undertaken to suppress lawlessness or insurreetion. . . . [CJampaigns of 
eonquest are contrary to the policy of the Government of the United States. It is 
the duty of our statesmen to define a poliey relative to international relationships 
. . . There is mutual dependenee and responsibility whieh ealls for the highest 
qualities of statesmanship and military leadership. The initiative devolves upon 


the statesmen. 

The Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949 framed the Setif Massaere of 1945 
not only in date but also in prineiple from the perspective of Algerians. While France 
viewed the Freneh-Algerian War as large-seale maintenanee of publie order, many 
Algerians opposed the diseriminatory Indigenous Code and its contradietion of the 1946 
version of the Freneh Constitution’s preamble. These opponents viewed Algeria as 
oecupied territory without a legitimate state and therefore desired representation or 
independenee. Having failed to aehieve progress with the poliey of assimilation promoted 
by Algerian governor-general Mauriee Violette in 1935, radieal Algerians took military 
aetions and sought proteetion under either the Geneva Convention of 1929 proteeting 


prisoners of war or the 1949 Geneva Convention protecting civilians against the 
consequences of war. France ratified the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 in 1951. The 
fourth Geneva Convention set down rules for treatment of civilians by a foreign military; 
it included modifications to the third Geneva Convention of 1929 that dealt with the 
treatment of prisoners of war. The French government extended neither the protection of 
prisoner of war status nor the protection of accused criminal status to Algerians; it instead 
extended martial law culminating with the Special Powers Act of 12 March 1956. 

Special Powers Act of 12 March 1956 

The French Republic, faithful to its traditions, shall respect the rules of 
public international law. It shall undertake no war aimed at conquest, nor shall it 
ever employ force against the freedom of any people. 

Preceding the summer furor of terror that led to a notorious exchange of terrorist 

bombings, the pieds noir bombarded the new French Prime Minister Guy Mollet with 

rotten tomatoes on his first visit to Algiers on 6 February 1956. General Jacques Massu, 

who would later receive the authority to restore order in Algiers, was concerned by the 

popular uprising, “The indigenes have an instinct of respect, of fear of the leader. They 

absolutely don’t understand the behavior of the French who insult the head of their 

government, bombard him with tomatoes ...” The diary of Mouloud Feraoun 

contradicted Massu’s stereotypical view however, 

Mr. Mollet came. He was supposed to come in order to calm [8 million Algerians] 
down but instead he threatened us even though we asked him for nothing and we 
were careful not to insult him. His compatriots insulted him; he remained calm, 
and the good words that he promised us were then directed toward them. Then he 


got back on his plane, knowing quite well that we are used to waiting. 

Mollet had coordinated the new coalition government on the promise of negotiations with 
the FLN to restore peace in Algeria. In 1944, Messali Had] summarized Algerian 


perception of French motivation: “The achievement of France is self-evident. It leaps to 
the eyes, and it would be unjust to deny it; but if the French have done a lot, they did it 
for themselves. 

Three days after his day of tomatoes,^ Mollet called upon the National Assembly 
to authorize an extension of French military service to 27 months and recall reservists to 
duty in February 1956. This action would give the French army more than 500,000 
personnel to conduct operations primarily in the Algerian countryside {bled**). Approved 
by a vote of 455 to 76, the Special Powers Act of 12 March 1956 ultimately granted 
virtually unrestricted power to create policies and programs without oversight. 
Implementing a program of counterterrorism to defeat the military arm of the FLN before 
negotiating with its political apparatus, Mollet eventually ceded authority normally 
reserved for domestic law enforcement to the military. 

Mollet’s policy was a radical shift from his coalition government’s platform for 
negotiations with the FLN, as Feraoun’s journal entry reflected. Mollet’s vice prime 
minister was none other than Pierre Mendes-France who had granted independence to 
both Morocco and Tunisia during his tenure as Prime Minister. Despite previous plans to 
reconcile, with more personnel to pursue the fellagha, French forces implemented new 
tactics to counter the ability of the insurgents to hide amongst the population. 

Failing to maintain public order during the period from 1 November 1954 to early 
1956, the government of France transferred generous civil authority to the military in 

^The event came to be known as la journee des tomates (the day of tomatoes) in 
France and Algeria. The date was also significant historically as right-wing riots in Paris 
had nearly tipped France into civil war on 6 February 1934. 

**Arabic word for vast open country. 


order to address the law and order shorteomings in Algeria. Ultimately, the heavy-handed 
treatment of the population led to unified Algerian nationalism and independenee for 
Algeria despite a losing military insurgeney. By adopting the prineiple of reprisals 
against the population that they were supposed to proteet and seeure, the Freneh military 
alienated the Algerian majority. The Freneh army failed an old adage of war deseribed to 
Ted Morgan by his supervisor Major de Brissae, “Those who try to impose the Indoehina 
model on Algeria fail to see that this is not Communism, it’s Islamie nationalism. So 
lesson number one; ‘Understand your enemy. 

21st Century Law 

Ultimately, the Freneh army won the Battle of Algiers militarily but lost the 
Algerian war morally and politieally. The moment the Freneh army adopted a strategy of 
torture and diserimination, a moral vietory was denied. Violations of international laws 
for war, even when justified by domestie authorization, may have infiueneed the outeome 
of the Algerian war after the Battle of Algiers. More reeently, the U.S. government 
redefined individuals eaptured during eombat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as 
“illegal enemy eombatants” rather than enemy prisoners of war. Also, the U.S. 
government redefined, or explieitly omitted from the definition, “torture” methods 
expeeted to produee valuable information from these “illegal enemy eombatants” in the 

Patriot Aet of 26 Oetober 2001 

Any investigative or law enforeement offieer, or attorney for the Government, 
who . . . has obtained knowledge of the eontents of any wire, oral, or eleetronie 
eommunieation, or evidenee derived therefrom, may diselose sueh eontents to any 
other Federal law enforeement, intelligenee, proteetive, immigration, national 


defense, or national seeurity offieial to the extent that sueh eontents inelude 
foreign intelligenee or oounterintelligenee ... or foreign intelligenee information . 


. . to assist... in the performanee of his offieial duties. . . . 

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be lawful for foreign 
intelligenee or counterintelligenee ... or foreign intelligenee information obtained 
as part of a eriminal investigation to be diselosed to any Federal law enforeement, 
intelligenee, proteetive, immigration, national defense, or national seeurity offieial 
in order to assist... in the performanee of his official duties. 

In the days following the 11 September 2001 attacks on America, elected officials 

overwhelmingly voted cooperative information sharing to prevent the repetition of 

coordinated terrorist activity on American soil. The full title of Public Law 107-56 

enacted on 26 October 2001, was Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing 

Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, the USA PATRIOT 

Act. The Patriot Act was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives by 83 percent 

and in the U.S. Senate by 98 percent. 

The Patriot Act was contentious even upon its reauthorization vote in 2005. The 
Patriot Act was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives by 58 percent and in the 
U.S. Senate by 89 percent. Proponents voting in the majority hailed cooperation amongst 
government agencies previously unable to share domestic information against 
international threats and vice versa. Opponents complained it eroded protections against 
government intrusion protected by the Bill of Rights. The Special Powers Act of 12 
March 1956 had passed the French National Assembly by 86 percent despite the fact that, 
“among other things, [it] suspended most of the guarantees of individual liberties in 

Fundamentally, the Patriot Act changed five earlier U.S. laws: the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 


1986, the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, and the 
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Of note, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 
Act of 1978 was a direct result of domestic spying brought about by the Watergate 

Military Commissions Act of 2006 

To authorize trial by military commissions for violations of the law of war, and 
for other purposes. 

Authorized by Congress to use all necessary and appropriate military forces to 
pursue the individuals and organizations responsible for the terrorist attack of 11 
September 2001, President George W. Bush issued an order creating military tribunals to 
address the potential criminal proceedings against these individuals and organizations. 
The creation of these tribunals met the letter of international law for regularly constituted 
courts but the latitude afforded the executive branch to determine whether a combatant 
was legal or illegal did not eliminate the requirement to treat all captured personnel as a 
prisoner of war initially. Extended detentions without either the protection of prisoner of 
war status or criminal procedures of speedy trial harkened back to the excessive 
individual authority in martial laws of the Lieber Code or Special Powers Act. French 
military tribunals in Algiers meted out harsh sentences for fellagha activity (see table 1). 
Even convictions for fellagha political activity, which produced zero death sentences, 
carried lengthy incarceration for criminal activities. Despite the appalling conduct which 
precipitated such sentences, it was the imprecise method of determining who was 
fellagha that created the backlash from both the French and Algerian population. To 


determine who was an insurgent, the French tortured tens of thousands of Algerians and 
even European French citizens. 

A similar backlash domestically and internationally surrounded the enhanced 
interrogation techniques purportedly used to elicit operationally useful information on 
tactics and personnel from “illegal enemy combatants” whether at the point of capture or 
detained at Guantanamo Bay detention facility. While pale in comparison to the number 
of French subjects and citizens who “disappeared” as described by Paul Teitgen, the 
inappropriate behavior on the part of American soldiers and government officials 
damaged the perception of American morality and righteousness.^^ Just as when public 
opinion for the Philippine-American War turned despite the effective use of the “water 
cure,” international perception of American policy and military intentions and 
professionalism in the GWOT waivered. 

Further exacerbating the modem dilemma of appropriate treatment for detainees, 
and highlighting the flaw in French treatment of its citizens and subjects during the 
French-Algerian War, calls for release of prisoners who were improperly categorized as 
“illegal enemy combatants” have been met with Catch-22 treatment. This also mirrors an 
equivalent flaw in the French treatment of its citizens and subjects during the French- 
Algerian War. For example, on 4 October 2009, Scott Shane described the case of Alla 
Ali Bin Ahmed in the New York Times. Having been detained in error, Fl.S. District Court 
Judge Gladys Kessler ordered Ahmed’s release. Nevertheless, apprehension at 
transformation of Ahmed’s beliefs while under detention at Guantanamo Bay delayed his 
release: “Guantanamo itself might have radicalized him, exposing him to militants and 

-5 £ 

embittering him against the United States.” This situation was remarkably similar to the 


state of perception for Algerians released from French authorities after questioning. 
Perspective for sufficient security therefore faces reflection upon the words of Benjamin 
Franklin, “Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, 


deserve neither liberty nor safety.” 

'Simon Murray, Legionnaire: An Englishman in the French Foreign Legion, 
(London, UK: Pan Books, 2000), 197. 


Robert D. Ramsey, III, Occasional Paper (OP) 24, Savage Wars of Peace: Case 
Studies of Pacification in the Philippines, 1900-1902 (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat 
Studies Institute Press, 2008), 135. 

International Committee of the Red Cross, The Mission (Geneva, Switzerland: 
International Committee of the Red Cross, 2009), 
ent (accessed 3 November 2009). 

"^Henry Dunant, A Memory of Solferino, (Geneva, Switzerland: International 
Committee of the Red Cross, 1986), 2. 

^George B. Davis, “The Geneva Convention of 1906,” The American Journal of 
International Law (Washington, DC: American Society of International Law 1, no. 2, 
1907), 410. 

^Ramsey, OP 24, 135. 

’ibid., 136. 


^Ibid., 139. 

'^Alexis de Tocqueville, 1841-Extract of Travail sur TAlgerie, in CEuvres 
completes (Gallimard: Pleiade, 1991), 704 and 705. 

''Eucien-Eran 9 ois de Montagnac, Lettres d'un soldat (Paris: Christian 
Destremeau, 1998), 153. 


Samuel Clemens, Interview, New York Herald, 15 October 1900. 

'^Ramsey, OP 24, 138. 

'^Ibid., 145. 


'^Thomas Bruscino, ‘“Its Officers Did Not Forget’ The Philippine War, the Press, 
and the Pre-World War I U.S. Army” (paper presented to Military History Symposium, 
Fort Leavenworth, KS, 26 August 2009), 5. 

'^Messali Hadj “Fight Against French Imperialism!” 
arohive/messali-hadj/1928/fight-frenoh.htm (aeeessed 3 November 2009), 1928. 

'^Vietor T. Le Vine, Politics in Francophone Africa (Boulder, CO: Lynne 
Rienner, 2004), 48-51. 

'^Alistair Home, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: 
The Viking Press, 1977), 63. 

'^Ramsey, OP 24, 159. 


Hague Conference, “Regulations Respeeting the Laws and Customs of War on 
Land (Hague IV),” (The Hague, Netherlands: 18 Oetober 1907), Annex to the 
Convention, Artiele 23. 


Hague Conference, “Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on 
Land (Hague II & IV),” (The Hague, Netherlands: 29 July 1988 and 18 October 1907), 
Annex to the Convention, Article 4 (both). 

^^Ramsey, OP 24, 136. 


United States Marine Corps, Small Wars Manual (Reprint of1940 Edition), 
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Offiee, 1987), 2. 


National Assembly of France, Preamble to the Constitution, (Paris: National 
Assembly of France, 4 November 1946), 
eonstitutionnel/root/bank_mm/anglais/cst3.pdf (accessed 3 November 2009). 


Horne, H Savage War of Peace, 147. 

^'’Ibid., 151. 

' 2.1 

Mouloud Feraoun, Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War 
(Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 73. 


Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 65. 

^^Ibid., 151. 


Ted Morgan, My Battle of Algiers: A Memoir (New York, NY: Smithsonian 
Books, 2005), 126. 


^'USA PATRIOT Act, Section 203(b)(l)(6) (Washington, DC: 26 October 2001), 
http://thomas.loe.gOv/cgi-bin.query/z7cl07:H.R.3162.ENR (accessed 3 November 2009). 

^^USA PATRIOT Act, Section 203(d)(1) (Washington, DC: 26 October 2001), 
http://thomas.loc.gOv/cgi-bin.query/z7cl07:H.R.3162.ENR (accessed 3 November 2009). 

^^Benjamin Stora, Algeria, 1830-2000: A Short History (Ithaea, NY: Cornell 
University Press, 2001), 47. 

^"^Military Commissions Act (Washington, DC: 17 October 2006), 109:3:./temp/~cl091Vsy2P (accessed 3 
November 2009). 


Patriek Rotman, stated by Paul Teitgen in “E’ennemi intime [The Best of 
Enemies],” episode 3, “Etats d’armes,” 2002, documentary fdm (disc 3, “The Battle of 
Algiers,” The Criterion Colleetion, 2004). 

^^Seott Shane, “A Detainee’s Case Shows the Hurdles That A Release Poses,” 
New York Times, 4 October 2009, 1. 


Benjamin Eranklin, Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin 
(Eondon, UK: British and Eoreign Public Eibrary, 1818), 270. 




The Battle of Algiers 

It was up to the army to run Algiers, without interferenee. The time of the 

leopards (as the paras were known) had eome.' 

By 4 January 1957, the escalation and continued violence, especially in the city of 
Algiers, prompted newly installed Erench Prime Minister Guy Mollet to transfer authority 
from the local civilian police to the military in order to restore order. On 7 January 1957, 
the Algerian Resident Minister Governor-General Robert Eacoste essentially established 
martial law under General Jacques Massu. The delegation of power to Massu included 
provisions to suspend or eliminate many legal protections otherwise enjoyed under the 
rule of law. The former I’heure du gendarme* hour of the police, gave way to the I’heure 
du para, the hour of the paratrooper. As a result, while the desire to restore civil order 
and peace was legitimate, the methods adopted within what was considered metropolitan 
Erance were not. The harsh measures against the population further alienated any 
ambivalent Erench subjects who may have previously desired citizenship. 

Governor-general of Algiers Robert Eacoste ordered the Erench army into Algiers 
on 7 January 1957 following a series of terrorist acts and reprisals exchanged between the 
EEN and the European pieds noir. Gillo Pontecorvo’s film “The Battle of Algiers” 
accurately depicted the June 1956 rampage by PEN fellagha in Algiers following the 

*Notably, a gendarme is not explicitly a policeman but is rather a para-military 
individual performing police functions. This individual is part of the gendarmerie but 
may not necessarily be part of the army. Interestingly, the gendarmerie of Prance is 
simultaneously under the authority of the ministries of defense and interior. 


death sentence of another FLN prisoner.^ Frustrated by their impotence to prevent these 
terrorist attacks and to arrest the terrorist fellagha, the police collaborated with extremist 
pieds noir and conducted their own counterterrorist reprisal in a spirit not unlike the 
Lieber Code against a suspected terrorist safe house on 10 August 1956. The Rue de 
Thebes bombing in the Casbah, as the native Algerian enclave of Algiers was known, 
destroyed four houses and killed 70 residents including women and children. 

The FLN responded with a coordinated reprisal on the pieds noir youth with 
nearly simultaneous bombings of a milk bar and a disco. Three young Algerian women— 
Zora Drif, Djamila Bouhired, and Sarnia Lakhdari—adopted the dress and style of their 
European counterparts. Carrying small homemade explosive devices into the heart of 
Algiers, these women were able to avoid the ubiquitous searches of Arabs departing the 
Casbah. Diverting the French guards from their attention to duty with veiled flirting and 
distraction, all three managed to smuggle their charges to sites for vengeance against the 
pieds noir. 

While these bombings contributed to the sense of instability in Algeria and were a 
new field for terror by both the FLN and the pieds noir, Ali Amara’s assassination of 
Mayor Amedee Froger as he left his home provided an equally compelling flash point for 
the Battle of Algiers. Ali Amara, known as Ah la Pointe, was a former pimp, purveyor of 
gambling, well known for breaking French laws as well as Sharia.^ Saadi Yacef, who was 

^Two FLN prisoners were actually executed; Ahmed Zabana and Lerradj Abdel- 
Kader. (See Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 183 and Morgan, My Battle of Algiers, 107- 
108 for the account). 

^Islamic religious law, ubiquitous to all aspects of Muslim life. 


in charge of military operations within the Autonomous Zone of Algiers (ZAA^), enlisted 
Ali la Pointe for his knowledge of the Casbah and its less savory inhabitants. 

General Massu moved his forces into Algiers quiekly (see figure 4). Noteworthy 
was the faet that Massu’s 10th Paraehute Division had reeently returned to Algeria from 
the failed Suez Crisis operation with British and Israeli forees. Additionally, the Freneh 
established a new sehool known as the Center for Training and Preparation for Counter- 
Guerrilla Warfare (CIPCG) for the expanded military presenee in Algeria at Arzew east 
of the eity of Oran (see figures 2 and 3). General Massu divided the eity and assigned his 
four regiments to eontrol eommunities in a system known as quadrillage or the bloek 
warden system. Colonel Mareel Bigeard, eommanding the 3d Colonial Paraehute 
Regiment {Regiment Parachutiste Coloniale, or RPC) was given eontrol of the Casbah. 
Bigeard established eheekpoints at every entranee and instituted a eensus of the Casbah 
eomplete with identifieation of the houses and alleyways with numbering. Most 
signifieantly, the paras eolleeted all poliee files and began arresting all known and 
suspeeted FLN agents and supporters. Paul Teitgen, the general seeretary of the Algiers 
poliee, doeumented eaeh arrest. Copies of the arrest doeumentation would be central to 
determining the extent of the military’s operations and their terminal effeets. 

Coinciding with the arrival of the 10th Paraehute Division, the FLN eoordinated a 
general strike to publieize its eontrol of Algeria to the UN General Assembly. While most 
of the FLN’s leadership advoeated indiseriminate terrorism, Larbi Ben M’Hidi “eriticized 

^Zone Autonome d Alger. The FLN divided Algeria into six sectors known as 
Wilayas in Arabic. Algiers represented a speeial revolutionary loeation and as sueh was 
one of two autonomous zones diserete from the other Wilayas. 


[sic] ‘useless bloody operations’ that made a bad impression on public opinion.”"^ He 

to demonstrate in the most deeisive manner the total support of the whole 
Algerian people for the F.L.N., its unique representative. The objeet of this 
demonstration is to bestow an ineontestable authority upon our delegates at the 
United Nations in order to eonvince those rare diplomats still hesitant or 
possessing illusions about Franee’s liberal poliey.^ 

The Freneh army broke the strike using taeties that ultimately estranged many who lived 

and operated in the Casbah but had to partieipate out of fear of the FLN. 

Highlighting the ability of the FLN to hide amongst the population, one eitizen 

requested that the paras “Call two gendarmes so that they ean rough me up a bit, and I’ll 

open.”^ Mouloud Feraoun, who kept a day-by-day aeeount of the Freneh-Algerian War, 

reeorded “In the evening there was a large proeession of eompatriots who were being 

brought baek from the villages, namely the owners of the stores who will remain here like 

prisoners behind their eounters.”’ The presenee of the paras did not assuage the 

population’s fear of the FLN when their aetions were not direeted at the eriminals. Onee 

again, Feraoun observed, “the FLN is notorious for not being amused when its orders are 

not respeeted ... a half-dozen primary sehool teaehers have already been executed by the 

so ealled FLN for various reasons . . . because they are traitors.” Notwithstanding the fear 

of the FLN in the Casbah, the paras measured self-defined suceess: “[Colonel Yves] 

Godard [Chief of Staff to General Massu] elaims that, whereas only seventy [Muslim 


students] attended at the end of January, numbers had risen to 8,000 a fortnight later.” 

The strike failed for the FLN in the short term. The Freneh army was stronger and more 
unified in aetion from training and eonsistent eommand messages to break the strike 
regardless of the eost. The strike succeeded for the FLN in the long term as the ethieal 


and moral costs from placing results ahead of pereeptions exeeeded the domestie Freneh, 
international, and Algerian publie’s willingness to endure. The army broke the strike but 
forged the resolve of the FLN and more importantly, publie pereeption at home and 

Saadi Yaeef and the FLN resumed terrorist attaeks but the army eontinued to 
glean information from the eitizens through intense interrogations. Through use of a 
systematie eensus of the Casbah and effieient reporting through the 10th Paraehute 
Division’s intelligenee seetion, terrorist aetivity steadily deelined (see figure 5). There 
was a dark side to the system, of eourse. Counterterrorism eondueted by the paras 
terrorized the general population as mueh as the terrorist eells eaptured by the paras. The 
number of Algerians detained was signifieant: “between thirty and forty per eent of the 
entire male population of the Casbah were arrested at some point or other during the 
eourse of the Battle of Algiers.”^ Paul Teitgen doeumented and reeorded a majority of 
these arrests. The diserepaney of over 4,000 between those detained and those released or 
imprisoned demonstrated the extent of the dark work. Everyone was a suspeet and 
subjeeted to the questioning later deseribed by Colonel Trinquier’s theory of Modern 
Warfare', even Freneh eitizens and Freneh soldiers sueh as Mauriee Audin, Henri Alleg, 
and Ted Morgan were to diseover. 

Ultimately, the aetions surrounding All la Pointe, Saadi Yaeef, and his girls 
beeame the bookend aets for the Battle of Algiers. Their eapture and deaths at the hands 
of General Massu’s paras were the final aets of the battle. From Mayor Amedee Froger’s 
assassination on 28 Deeember 1956 to the death of Ah la Pointe on 8 Oetober 1957 only 
nine months had elapsed. The Freneh-Algerian War endured another four and a half 


years, but the effects from the methods employed by the French during the Battle of 
Algiers reverberated much longer. Successful military operations thus became the 
primary reason for ultimate political failure. 

Modern Warfare 

While he was in Stockholm to receive his award, Camus spoke to a group 
of university students and said the following about Algeria: ‘I have always 
condemned terrorism. I condemn the blind terrorism that strikes in the streets of 
Algiers, which could strike my mother or my family. I believe injustice, but I will 
defend my mother first.’ 

In order to understand the French situation, one must first consider contemporary 

French counterinsurgency theory. The individual who wields proficiency in and personal 

experience of an emerging military theory gains great legitimacy as an advocate and may 

transform a military organization through a military revolution. Personal experiences and 

beliefs may also influence that military revolution in a negative manner. While blending 

or merging similar viewpoints and attitudes may weaken a concept, the additional 

considerations from multiple perspectives can result in a compromise that is more 

favorable and sustainable. Trinquier helped develop counterinsurgency concepts for the 

French army during the French-Algerian War. His belief in and experiences with the 

French empire of the first half of the 20th century influenced his values and his lenient 

interpretation of what was acceptable under the laws for land warfare. The tactics he 

described in Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency reflected the basis 

for division level operations tested during the Battle of Algiers. 

Trinquier’s experiences as a commando in Indochina influenced the development 

of his theory of counterinsurgent tactics. He had not only participated in French efforts to 

suppress the Vietnamese opposition, but also commanded the Groupement de 


Commandos Mixtes Aeroportes (GCMA**), the French effort to organize counter 

guerrillas in Laos and Vietnam. He further believed that most of the civilian population 

of Algeria was coerced by fear of the FLN and really supported the French government. 

In effect, Trinquier argued that a terrorist was not entitled to the protections accorded to 

prisoners of war because the anonymous terrorist had not accepted the risks of a 

legitimate uniformed soldier. According to his thinking, the terrorist could only become a 

prisoner of war after divulging the names and locations of other cells and cell members. 

Ultimately, Trinquier’s advocacy of torture was explicit and matter of fact. 

Nevertheless, he ignored the unintended-yet-potential consequence of alienating the 

innocent civilian apprehended as a suspected terrorist. Certainly, Trinquier foresaw the 

challenges of categorizing a terrorist as distinct from a criminal or prisoner of war. 

However, he was not personally involved in conducting torture and did not anticipate nor 

realize the dehumanizing aspects of torture for both the suspect and the torturer. Paul 

Teitgen, however, who had endured the Gestapo at Dachau understood torture: 

Because if you once get into the torture business, you’re lost. . . . Understand this, 
fear was the basis of it all. All our so-called civilisation [sic] is covered with a 
varnish. Scratch it, and underneath you find fear. The French, even the Germans, 
are not torturers by nature. But when you see the throats of your copains^^ slit, 
then the varnish disappears. 

While Trinquier’s advocacy at the operational and strategic level led to effective 
military operations, the unintended effects of torture included nearly universal adoption 
by Algerians of the insurgents’ cause and gave the FLN the ability to recover politically 
from each successive military operation. By contrast, the French government failed 

**Mixed Airborne Commando Group. 



politically despite repeated military sueeesses. In partieular, the image of German 

members of the Foreign Legion interrogating suspeets outraged Freneh publie opinion, 


whieh had suffered similar torture during the German oeeupation of 1940-1944. 

Nevertheless, Trinquier was not the sole advoeate for a military strategy in the 

Freneh army. Two Freneh army eommanders at the highest eehelons helped shape 

eounterinsurgeney and paeifieation. Of note: 

The Freneh eommand and eontrol strueture in Algeria at the time was well 
suited for eounterinsurgeney. It duplieated the existing Freneh system of eivil 
administration to help ensure unity of eommand in support of operations. 

Algeria’s three main seetors {igamies^*) eorresponded to the three Freneh Army 
eorps, its 15 departments to Franee’s 15 divisions, and its 72 distriets 
{arrondissements^^) to 72 regiments.'^ 

Even before the stunning sueeess of the Battle of Algiers, in early 1956 General Jean 
Olie, the military and eivil governor of Kabylie and subsequently the eorps eommander 
for the Army of Constantine (see figure 3), used the newly ereated Speeial 
Administration Seetions (SAS***) to eoordinate the responsibilities of reliable Berber 
elder eouneils in the Kabylie region. The Berbers were the original inhabitants of Algeria, 
predating the arrival of Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, and eventually Freneh colons. 
Many Algerians, espeeially the Berbers although having adopted Islam previously and 
subjeet to Sharia, nevertheless had a eulture distinetive from the Arab eulture. General 

^*An igamie was the jurisdietion of an igame, whieh is an aeronym for inspecteur 
general de I ’administration en mission extraordinaire (administrative inspeetor general 
on speeial mission). Eaeh igamie eorresponded to one of the original three departments. 
Erom 1955-1957, Eranee elevated a number of subordinate distriets to department status 
but maintained the three original department boundaries for administrative eontrol. 

^^The equivalent of a distriet; a eolleetion of a number of eities within a 
department of Algeria. 

***Section Administrative Specialisee. A eivil-military detaehment. 


Olie’s adaptation of local councils served as a beaeon for paeifieation that David Galula 
and Jean Pouget praetieed later. Olie eventually replaeed General Mauriee Challe as the 
eommander in Algeria following Challe’s unsueeessful military eoup to wrest power 
from President Charles De Gaulle. 

To the east of General Olie, division eommander General Andre Beaufre divided 
the Constantine area in three parts: zones of paoifieation, zones of interdietion, and zones 
of operations. Eaeh zone was distinetive. The zones of paoifieation reoeived the 
greatest oonoentration of Frenoh foroes and the greatest eoonomio support. Zones of 
interdietion were oleared of inhabitants and beoame areas where any presenoe was 
eliminated, and zones of operations were the areas “where F.L.N. bands were relentlessly 
pursued and harried by Beaufre’s elite mobile foroes ... he was the first senior 
eommander in Algeria to show tangible suooess in beating the rebels on the purely 
military level.” 

Both Trinquier and Beaufre shared similar experienoes in Indoohina. General 
Beaufre’s strategy evolved through Trinquier into the Modern Warfare strategy adopted 
throughout Algeria despite the suooesses of General Olie with different methods under 
different oultural oiroumstanoes. General Olie and General Beaufre as well as Colonel 
Trinquier were supported by subordinate offioers and nonoommissioned offioers (NCOs) 
trained at the Frenoh Army Center for Training and Preparation in Counter-Guerrilla 
Warfare (CIPCG) at Arzew. The CIPCG provided instruotion on oultural speoifios and 
taotioal oharaoteristios of fighting in Algeria. In his essay on the CIPCG, Fieutenant 
Colonel Guelton desoribed its mission: 

Zones de pacification, zones interdites, zones d’operations. 


[the centre has to] provide teachings that are as concrete as possible about Muslim 
psychology and sociology, as well as about the political bases of the Algerian 
rebellion. It must do so with a view to giving the cadres the essential 
fundamentals they will require to carry out pacification activities with success, in 
accordance with the directives of the minister for Algeria. [It must, furthermore] 
provide instruction in counter-guerrilla methods that will enable these cadres to 
conduct, at different levels and in any type of terrain, at night as well as by day, 
nomadic actions as well as offensive or defensive operations. 

Instructors from the field rotated into the center to provide accurate and up-to-date 

information for newly posted officers and NCOs. Eventually, the commander of Algiers, 

General Raoul Salan, transformed the CIPCG into a psychological warfare school 

following the success of tactics employed in the Battle of Algiers (see figure 5). 


On March 7, Massu [Commander of the 10th Parachute Division in 
Algiers] ordered Bollardiere [Commander of a brigade of paratroopers reinforcing 
Massu] in writing to give priority to police actions over pacification, since he was 
getting reports that Bollardiere’s sector was overrun by the FEN, and that he was 
more interested in building roads and digging irrigation ditches than he was in 
fighting the rebels. On March 8, Bollardiere resigned his command and asked 
General Salan for a transfer. Salan agreed, on condition that he keep his reasons to 
himself and refrain from writing articles.'^ 

While Trinquier practiced his tactics in Indochina and orchestrated the military’s 
strategy during the Battle of Algiers, Galula actually used Trinquier’s tactics at the 
company level. However, Galula’s own experiences of religious discrimination and first 
hand analysis of Chinese revolutionary warfare may have led him to advocate less 
politically volatile techniques of counterinsurgency. Because he was Jewish, the French 
army expelled Galula in 1941 after the defeat of France in 1940. Eater, he observed the 
Chinese communists prior to their defeat of the Nationalist Chinese forces. From August 
1957 through April 1958 Captain Galula commanded an infantry company in the 
Algerian counterinsurgency. In his own interpretation of Trinquier’s model in 


Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice, Galula advocated the “problem now is 
rather how to impress the eounterinsurgent personnel with the neeessity of remaining 
inwardly on guard while being outwardly friendly.” Clearly, Galula understood the 
implieations of seeond order effeets from overly aggressive and harsh measures. 

Galula also recognized that offensive operations were still necessary to prevent 
insurgent forees from seizing the initiative during more friendly paeifieation operations. 
Effeetive offensive operations rely upon information. Galula did not speeifically address 
how to obtain information from any souree, whether that souree was a eaptured insurgent 
or a supporter of the insurgeney. However, he did not indieate divergent thinking from 
aeeepted laws for land warfare and the ordinarily expeeted treatment of eriminals or 
prisoners of war through poliee, eourts, and military systems. Certainly, the validity of 
Trinquier’s and Galula’s eounterinsurgent methods is evident even today. Perhaps had the 
Freneh Army eombined their ideas or omitted the politieally questionable endorsement of 
torture, the Freneh government eould have co-opted the eause of the FFN by granting 
Freneh eitizenship to Algerians as proposed under the eoneept of “assimilation” endorsed 
in 1936 by Mauriee Violette. 

Galula employed Trinquier’s taeties and operational art in pure form and with 
great effeet. Similarly, Major Jean Pouget applied the principles of respeet and proteetion 
for the Algerian population with a group of reealled eonseripts who were themselves 
notorious for their disrespeet, disobedienee, irresponsibility, and general laek of 
diseipline. Notwithstanding this. Major Pouget diverged in praetiee from the pure 
eonduct of modem warfare, as defined by Roger Trinquier, by the omission of identity 
eards and eounting of livestoek. Using the taetieal form of quadrillage only after 


obtaining the invitation of the loeal eommunity leaders, Major Pouget eondueted 
paeifieation more elosely to the fashion of David Galula. The most remarkable aspeet of 
both Galula and Pouget was that in both instanees their troops disearded former aetions of 
brutality for aets of respeet and ultimately won the support of the population. 

Major Pouget’s 584th 5ato///on du Train (support battalion) transformed the 
indifferent population of Bordj de TAgha, loeated near Bou-Saada, 150 miles from 
Algiers (see figures 2 and 3), into a stalwart anti-fellagha group at the same time that 
Trinquier applied the existing Freneh doetrine and strategy during the Battle of Algiers. 
Pouget also eondueted offensive eounter-guerilla and eounterinsurgeney operations. 

From November 1956, just prior to the eommeneement of the Battle of Algiers, to 
November 1957, just beyond the eonelusion of that battle, Pouget’s 584th “had taken part 
in 50 operations in the area of the COSA,^+^ in the North Sahara Zone. It had also 
initiated 12 battles that resulted in 126 eonfirmed dead, 35 PoWs, and eaptured 200 
maehineguns and rifles along with ammunition. This was aeeomplished with the loss of 
only eight killed in aetion and 20 wounded.”'^ More signifieantly and in eontrast to the 
treatment of eivilians in Algiers, espeeially the 4,000 who disappeared from Algiers sueh 
as Henri Alleg’s friend Mauriee Audin, Pouget enforeed the dignified treatment of 
prisoners. In faet, Pouget deseribed the insurgent as a legitimate soldier, not a eriminal 
and eertainly not as someone predetermined as guilty; Pouget allowed no reprisals or 
field justiee. From his own experienee as a prisoner in Vietnam, he realized the benefits 

^*^Commandement Operationnel du Sud-Algerien (Operational Command of 
South Algeria). 


of turning former insurgents and intimately understood the futility of humiliating 

Interestingly, Pouget also wrote many of the coneepts later eaptured in the U.S. 

Army’s Field Manual (FM) 3-24 Counterinsurgency. The idea that some of the most 

effeetive weapons against insurgents or terrorists do not shoot is among the 

eounterinsurgency paradoxes. Pouget refleeted upon a very effeetive eounterinsurgent 

from the 584th, Private Jean-Claude Veber. Private Veber beeame a sehoolteaeher in a 

village, “Veber was unarmed, dressed in eivilian elothes, and his only eontaet with the 

rest of the battalion was at meal times. Otherwise he lived outside the post.” Despite 

not using information he was able to gather from both his students and their parents, the 

fellagha understood that Veber represented the authority of the government providing 

edueation and seeurity to the population. However, when the fellagha assassinated Veber, 

the population turned upon the attaekers. The 584th was restrained once more as: 

Major Pouget made sure that no reprisal was taken against the village, which had 
nothing to do with the murder. The fellaghas were expecting, and hoping for, a 
violent French reaction. None was to come. 

The rebels had pushed the villagers into the hand of the 584th by 
committing a crime in their village where the schoolteacher [Veber] was a 

By contrast, the counterterrorists-counterinsurgents in Algiers extracted information with 

intense methods of questioning, and by individuals other than “specialists perfectly 


versed in the techniques to be employed.” 

Small Wars 

This type of guerrilla war is won or lost by the relationship one has with 
the local population: once their support is lost, then so is the war and from then on 
it just becomes a matter of time. How much time is another thing. 


Half a world away from North Africa, the U.S. Marine Corps had developed its 
own eounter-guerilla taeties. These evolved largely from experiences during the Banana 
Wars from the 1890s through the 1930s. The Small Wars Manual beeame the basis for 
irregular warfare operations. Ameriean anti-eolonial values formally expressed in the 
Monroe Doetrine received greater international serutiny with the adoption of the 
Roosevelt Corollary for Western Hemisphere polieing by the United States, frequently 
using the U.S. Marine Corps. During the Banana Wars, eritics from Latin Ameriea and 
Europe asserted that the Roosevelt Corollary was an excuse for the United States to 
install friendly governments or elient states under the guise of stability. Regardless of 
national policy, the experiences with loeal populations led the U.S. Marine Corps to 
eonelude “toleranee, sympathy, and kindness should be the keynote of our relationship 
with the mass of the population.” Furthermore, in dealing with the difficulty of 
distinguishing between insurgents and the general population, “[The military individual] 
will rarely fail to receive support if he has aeted with eaution and reasonable moderation, 
eoupled with the neeessary firmness.” The U.S. Marine Corps determined the neeessity 
of maintaining balance of legitimaey with the population both domestieally and 

From the example of effeetive applieation of similar techniques used by the U.S. 
Marine Corps and Galula, the role of Trinquier’s personal experienees in Indoehina as a 
eounter-guerrilla may have infiueneed inelusion of a negative aspeet that otherwise could 
have been omitted or eompromised in his military revolution for the Freneh Army. All 
three focused on denying safe havens to enemy insurgent forees. Trinquier was the only 
theorist that allowed for and justified the use of brutal teehniques to identify the loeation 


of those enemy forees and eliminate them quiekly. The tactics were sound but alienated 
the population and provided the basis for further development of anti-government 
support. The U.S. Marine Corps and Galula, in contrast to Trinquier, identified the 
population’s security as key with removal or denial of the enemy forces as critical but 
subordinate in priority. 

'Ted Morgan, My Battle of Algiers: A Memoir (New York, NY: Smithsonian 
Books, 2005), 127. 

^Alistair Home, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: The 
Viking Press, 1977), 28. 

Paul Aussaresses, The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in 
Algeria 1955-1957 (New York, NY: Enigma Books, 2002), 84. 

"'Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 144. 

^Ibid., 190. 

'’Ibid., 191. 

^Mouloud Feraoun, Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War 
(Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 174. 


Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 191. 

^Ibid., 199. 

'"Morgan, My Battle of Algiers, 238. 

"Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 204. 

'^Ibid., 196 and 198. 


Philippe Fran 9 ois, “Waging Counterinsurgency in Algeria: A French Point of 
View,” Military Review (September-October 2008): 64. 

'"'Unattributed, “Algeria: The Third Revolt,” Time, 28 April 1961. 

'^Horne, H Savage War of Peace, 166. 


'^Frederic Guelton, “The French Army ‘Centre for Training and Preparation in 
Counter-Guerrilla Warfare’ (CIPCG) at Arzew” in France and the Algerian War (1954- 
62): Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy (London, UK; Frank Cass, 2002), 37-38. 

'^Morgan, My Battle of Algiers, 165. 


David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Westport, CT: 
Praeger Security International, 2006), 85. 

'^Alexander Zervoudakis, “A Case of Successful Pacification: The 584th 
Bataillon du Train at Bordj de I’Agha (1956-57)” in France and the Algerian War 1954- 
62: Strategy, Operations and Diplomacy (London, UK: Frank Cass, 2002), 57. 

^>id., 62. 



Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (Fort 
Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1985), 23. 


Simon Murray, Legionnaire: An Englishman in the French Foreign Legion 
(London, UK: Pan Books, 2000), 63. 

^"^United States Marine Corps, Small Wars Manual 1940 (Washington, DC: U.S. 
Government Printing Office, 1940 reprint), 32-33. 




The effectiveness of torturing people to make them betray their cause cannot be 
disputed. But with all the good results—the ‘fingering’ of many fellagha, the 
betrayal and subsequent capture of many of the rebel leaders—was a steady build¬ 
up of hatred against the Erench—a hatred that comes from living in fear and terror. 
And this antagonism drew the Arabs, so often before divided among themselves, 
into a common cause; it made them feel the necessity of combining for survival 
and it made them finally aware of their own strength. The Erench became the 
foreign intruder and the concept of nationalism was born in the Arabs, which was 
never there before. 

- Simon Murray, Legionnaire^ 

Harsh Measures 

I think that all the means available to wreck tribes must be used, barring those that 
the human kind and the right of nations condemn. I personally believe that the 
laws of war enable us to ravage the country and that we must do so either by 
destroying the crops at harvest time or any time by making fast forays also known 
as raids the aim of which is to get hold of men or flocks.^ 

In one word, annihilate all that will not crawl beneath our feet like dogs. 

The Battle of Algiers was a defining struggle for counterterrorism and 

counterinsurgency. While Erench military forces were able to identify and dismantle the 

terrorist structure quickly and effectively, their tactics resulted in alienation of both the 

Erench public and more significantly the Algerian population other than the pieds noir. 

Algeria was an important part of the Erench Republic economically and was not a 

colony but in fact, constituted three Erench departments. Nonetheless, dissatisfaction with 

the Erench government grew among ethnic Algerians and the Erench government 

subsequently turned to the Erench military when local police forces were incapable of 

maintaining security. The Erench government suspended individual rights of Algerians 


and granted authority to the French military to conduct domestic police functions in 

Open insurrection began on 1 November 1954. To suppress this insurgency, the 
French military leadership used lessons not only from their recent conflict in Indochina 
(1946-1954) but also from their experience at the hands of German occupation forces 
during the Second World War. By adopting techniques employed by both communist and 
fascist opponents, the French military and government violated French moral principles 
as well as accepted laws for war. 

These lapses of moral judgment were justified by many methods including the 
rationalization by French military leaders that, as they themselves had been subjected to 
intense interrogation techniques and the French government authorized their intentions, 
these techniques were for the greater good. Another rationalization was that international 
laws did not apply domestically when rule of domestic laws authorized the actions and 
activities, “the legitimization of torture does not occur in a vacuum. It is usually 
accompanied by a restriction on civil liberties.”"^ As Benjamin Franklin noted, liberty and 
security are not mutually exclusive. 


Roger Trinquier’s theory of modern warfare included the idea that terror was 

merely a weapon system and therefore study of its operational employment was valid. He 

asserted that due to the illegitimate conduct of terrorists, they could not expect protection 

of international laws of war or domestic law enforcement rules. He advocated methods of 

interrogation that included “the suffering, and perhaps the death” of prisoners for acts 

they may or may not have committed or merely observed.^ In effect, Trinquier intended 


to bring terror to the terrorist despite aeknowledgement of the breaehes of both 

international laws for war and domestie laws against erirne: 

[the terrorist] must be made to realize that, when he is captured, he cannot be 
treated as an ordinary criminal, nor like a prisoner taken on the battlefield. What 
the forces of order who have arrested him are seeking is not to punish a crime, for 
which he is otherwise not personally responsible, but, as in any war, the 
destruction of the enemy army or its surrender.^ 

As justification, Trinquier clearly demonstrated the magnitude of the FLN’s activities 

through his description of its military tribunals: 

In the month of September, 1958, the forces of order took possession of 
the files of a military tribunal of one of the regions of the F.L.N. In the canton of 
Michelet alone, in the arrondissement (district) of Fort-National in Kabylie, more 
than 2,000 inhabitants were condemned to death and executed between November 
1, 1954 and April 17, 1957.’ 

Ultimately, the full scope of terrorist activity in Algiers alone was demonstrated by the 
so-called smallpox chart for the period November 1956 through April 1957 (see figure 5). 

As implied by the far-ranging incidents of terror, there were a variety of terrorist 
activities used by the FLN. The 70 coordinated attacks on 1 November 1954 which 
initiated the French-Algerian War included conventional hit-and-run tactics of guerrillas 


against public officials and government facilities. The FLN used religious courts to 
sentence Algerians to disfigurement, cutting noses and lips from those accused of 
smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. The FLN also murdered those who refused to pay 
tribute fees or brutalized children and their families if they continued to attend European 
schools. The terror of the population was palpable and the people sought security just as 
Trinquier theorized, “When the country begins to fear and detest you [the FLN], you will 
no longer amount to anything. You will be nothing more than bandits, just as you are 
already called, or criminals who deserve to be hanged. And when they execute you, the 


country will breathe a sigh of relief.”^ Unfortunately for the population, the Freneh 

brought just as much terror to those who desired seeurity as to the terrorists themselves. 
“The result is that the army is spreading terror throughout the villages. This is splendid 


The law of war does not allow proclaiming either an individual belonging 
to the hostile army, or a citizen, or a subject of the hostile government an outlaw, 
who may be slain without trial by any captor, any more than the modern law of 
peace allows sueh international outlawry; on the contrary, it abhors such outrage. 
The sternest retaliation should follow the murder eommitted in eonsequenee of 
such proclamation, made by whatever authority. Civilized nations look with 
horror upon offers of rewards for the assassination of enemies as relapses into 
barbarism. * * 

The interrogators must always strive not to injure the physieal and moral 
integrity of individuals. Science can easily place at the army’s disposition the 
means for obtaining what is sought. 

But we must not trifle with our responsibilities. It is deceitful... to refuse 
interrogation specialists the right to seize the truly guilty terrorist and spare the 

At the dawn of the Battle of Algiers, the internecine nature of war in Algeria 

became elear in two unrelated incidents. On 8 January 1957, Mouloud Feraoun reealled 

his colleague’s reports of events in his hometown; 

... we cannot dispute the truth about the atroeious erimes and systematic rapes 
that have taken place in the Ouadhias. Soldiers were free to defile, kill, and burn. 
The maquis [fellagha], for their part, found it necessary to overwhelm and 
terrorize the population in order to prevent them from rallying around the French. 
It is as if the fellagha and the Freneh soldiers were eompeting to see who could be 


the most cruel. 

Further defying logic, pieds noir attaeked the eommander of all Freneh forees in Algeria, 
General Raoul Salan, using two bazooka rounds after the army had been ordered to 
eliminate the FLN terror network in Algiers.*"* The army represented the only method to 


maintain colon hegemony, yet self-defeating irrational behavior beeame eommonplaee 
even within the military itself By attaeking their defenders, the pieds noir eould have 
ehanged the pereeption of European Freneh publie opinion on the legitimaey of 
maintaining an Algeria for colon exploitation. Adopting paeifieation rather than modern 
warfare might have provided the means to restore balanee between legal, moral, and 
ethieal legitimaey for war in Algeria. 

In the eontest for the support of the population, the FEN and the Freneh army 
used terror and reprisals to eoeree. Rather than proteeting the population, the Freneh 
army abused the population in an effort to obtain intelligenee neeessary for operations 
against the FEN. In eontradistinetion to sueeessful paoifieation methods used by Galula 
and Pouget, the harsh measures of modern warfare were immoral and unethieal. 
Ultimately, to determine innoeenee an interrogator subjeeted a suspeet to the same 
treatment as that of a guilty individual. 

The Freneh army was between and engaged with eombatants of both sides. The 

Freneh government, elearly abrogating responsibility to the military, appeared ineffeetive 

to all parties. Feraoun reeorded his pereeption on 10 January 1957 as: 

The Freneh prime minister promises the Muslims of Algeria what they have 
always hoped for in vain. Then he promises the Freneh in Algeria what they have 
always had and now fear losing. Yet, as the prime minister ean only offer us what 
he would take from them, his deelaration of intent beeomes, as I see it, nothing 
more than the blinding light from a gigantie soap bubble.'^ 

Even before having begun the first aetion of the Battle of Algiers, the Freneh army was in 

a position of defending an illegitimate eause from the perspeetive of the Algerian 

population it was supposed to proteet. Furthermore, the army eondoned the 

diseriminatory praetiee of assuming that all Algerians were fellagha, with notable 


exceptions such as Captain David Galula, Major Jean Pouget and General Jacques Paris 
de Bollardiere. 

The death of French soldiers led to reprisals on the part of their comrades—often 

aimlessly directed against innocent Algerians. French soldiers as well as pieds noir 

frequently exacted vengeance upon the first Algerian they encountered following an FLN 

terrorist attack. Even Ted Morgan accepted the brutalization tactics employed against 

captured Algerians. Before he was assigned as a propaganda officer for General Jacques 

Massu, Morgan was an intelligence officer for an infantry battalion in the bled. On one 

occasion following the death of a close friend, Morgan beat a captured Algerian 

suspected to be a political commissar, until the restrained prisoner was dead.'^ In an even 

more rabid display of undisciplined conduct, Alistair Home related the experience of 

French recmit Alain Manevy following a terrorist attack. The soldiers with Manevy 

broke into a Jewish shop, unable to find any native Algerians to lynch. Eventually, an 

SAS officer stopped the marauding soldiers: 

T am Captain Bottier; I fought myself; I did thirty-seven jumps with the 
Resistance ... You band of little idiots—you’re doing exactly what the E.E.N. 
terrorists count on you doing. . . .’ to Manevy, Captain Bottier disclosed that he 
was an S.A.S. officer in from the bled, adding, ‘Two months of work as an S.A.S. 
officer are wrecked in one evening like this.’ 

The treatment in general of the population drove the Algerians to the EEN. Voild, 

we’ve won another battle. They hate the Erench a little more now. The stupid bastards are 


winning the war for us.’” 

During the Battle of Algiers, wide spread arrests and subsequent interrogation, 
enhanced by torture, provided much information regarding the EEN network in the city. 
Earbi Ben M’Hidi, one of the neufhistoriques, was captured during the night of Eebmary 


15-16, 1957. Regarded as the mastermind for the general strike at the beginning of the 
Battle of Algiers and for the various terrorist attacks in the FLN’s ZAA, Major Paul 
Aussaresses assassinated Ben M’Hidi on 4 March 1957 after discussions with General 
Massu and Colonel Trinquier reached consensus that a trial for a leader of the FLN was 
not a good idea.^^ The aftermath of the assassination, committed as a masquerade of a 
suicide, validated the tactics from the perspective of the French army. “The death of Ben 
M’Hidi was a decisive blow to the FLN in Algiers. The attacks died down and the bulk of 
the rebels began retreating toward the Atlas Mountains near Blida.”^^ Despite success 
tactically, Feraoun was unconvinced of the security provided from the French army or of 
the (un)civilized behavior of the French government: 

[T]he daily [newspaper], reports the death of Mehidi [sic], an arrested 

FLN leader who had just ‘committed suicide’ in his cell. . . 

L ’Express is publishing its first comments of Servan-Schreiber. It is 

fantastic. But censorship will bring down its implacable claw upon the daily. That 


is to be expected. 

Ultimately, in much the same way that grands pieds noir imposed funding of colon 
public work projects upon the indigenes through prestation, the French army imposed 
reprisals upon the population to discover the location of the fellagha. 


‘Now listen,’ he said, in his North African accent. ‘The lieutenant is 
giving you time to think, but afterwards you’ll talk. When we have a European we 
look after him better than the “wogs”. Everybody talks. You’ll have to tell us 
everything—and not only a little bit of the truth, but everything. 

*Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber was the founding editor of the weekly newspaper 
L ’Express and the author of the controversial book Lieutenant en Algerie (Eieutenant in 
Algeria) published in 1957. General Jacques Paris de Bollardiere publicly supported 
Servan-Schreiber’s ideas in a letter published in L ’Express on 27 March 1957 resulting in 
a military sentence of 60 days arrest. See Horne, page 203. 


The French army arrested more than 24,000 residents of Algiers in 1957 as 
documented by records maintained by Algiers Police Chief Paul Teitgen. Notably, 
more than 4,000 of those arrested simply disappeared. These people were likely killed 
during interrogations, which could be severe, as demonstrated by the treatment of Henri 
Alleg described in detail in The Question."^ While Alleg was not killed during 
interrogation, nor made to disappear like other crevettes Bigeard* (victims thrown into 
the sea weighted down with concrete blocks affixed to their feet), Alleg’s treatment 
demonstrated the French military’s willingness to use intense and extreme methods of 
coercion not even allowable against enemy combatants let alone domestic citizens 
accused of a crime. Teitgen eventually resigned in protest of the methods employed by 
the military near the end of the battle. 

Interestingly, among the first official protests against the use of torture came from 
the military itself. General Jacques Paris de Bollardiere, one of the brigade commanders 
deployed to Algiers from the bled in 1957 to restore civil order, observed that after the 
debacle of Dien Bien Phu, the professional army “instead of coldly analysing [sic] with 
courageous lucidity its strategic and tactical errors . . . gave itself up to a too human 
inclination and tried—not without reason, however—to excuse its mistakes by the faults of 
civil authority and public opinion.” This same reflection later found voice in the U.S. 
Army following the departure of American forces from Vietnam and the eventual fall of 
South Vietnam in 1975. Among the strategic errors General Bollardiere could have 

^Henri Alleg, The Question, University of Nebraska Press, 2006. 

^Bigeard’s shrimp; referring to Colonel Marcel Bigeard, the commander of the 3d 
Colonial Parachute Regiment of General Jacques Massu’s 10th Parachute Division. 


pointed out was the divergenee from proteetion of the population to reprisals against the 

Ostensibly, “The Freneh used two methods of interrogation to eolleet intelligenee- 
-torture when they needed information quiekly, and standard questioning when they did 
not.”^^ During the Battle of Algiers, time was eritieal to prevent terrorists from 
eontinuing their wanton destruetion of life and infrastrueture. As a result, and imbued 
with the authority of poliee eontrol during a state of emergeney where individual rights 
were ignored, nearly every interrogation ineluded torture even when it involved 

Notwithstanding the explanation of torture neeessitated by timeliness, the military 
arrested Audin and then Alleg on 11 and 12 June 1957, respeetively. Both men were 
members of the Algerian Communist Party (PCA^) and the military suspeeted them of 
providing support to terrorist eells in Algiers. The paranoia of the military against 
external support from international eommunists was endemie following the defeat of the 
army at Dien Bien Phu and the failure of military operations during the Suez Crisis. 

Alleg was tortured immediately and intensely. At one point, the interrogators 
brought the two men together and instrueted Audin to “tell him what’s in store for him.” 
Audin answered “It’s hard, Henri.” Alleg was tortured non-stop for six days and then 
subjeeted to a sodium pentothal injeetion to induee him to talk. The questions were 
simplistie, “Where have you been hiding? To whom have you spoken?” The methods of 
extraeting answers to these questions were savage. 

^Parti Communiste Algerien. 


Audin died during interrogation on 21 June 1957 but the military promoted a 
fabrieated eover story as they had for Larbi Ben M’Hidi and doeumented that Audin was 
shot during an eseape attempt. While Alleg thought he heard Audin shot to death nearly a 
month after his arrest, no less eredible a figure than Paul Teitgen was involved in 
eventually uneovering that Audin had been strangled: 

Teitgen described in detail the difficulty he had had in getting the military 
authorities to admit that they had Audin in their custody. ... A police officer . . . 
had come to . . . his superior . . . with the most disquieting news: in the evening of 
June 21, in the course of a final interrogation, Maurice Audin had been strangled. 

His body had been secretly buried at Fort L’Empereur, the ‘escape attempt’ 


mounted, and the cover story arranged. 

Even Ted Morgan was subjected to an intense battery of questioning regarding his 
various contacts and travels in Algiers including the Casbah. His three days of time- 
deprivation and methodical cross-referencing of his answers to documented surveillance 
would not be worth mentioning except that even a commissioned Erench officer, albeit a 
Erench-American, was arrested, isolated, questioned, and reviewed. Considering that 
nearly 40 percent of the Muslim male population of Algiers was arrested during the 
Battle of Algiers, that 4,000 simply vanished without a trace, and that a further 29 were 
condemned to death in August 1957, it was not difficult to understand how the population 
became alienated by such an illogical expectation that “Once the interrogation is finished 


. . . the terrorist can take his place among soldiers.” 

Paramount in Erench counterinsurgency theory was protection of the population. 
Trinquier understood that the population had information on the insurgent, guerilla, or 
terrorist. Trinquier’s technique of questioning to obtain intelligence on the insurgent 
network was disingenuous at best. Described at great length and in excruciating detail by 

Henri Alleg, the questions were perfunctory. It is ironic that for so effectively capturing 


the essence of counterinsurgency, Trinquier practiced it poorly. For while Trinquier was 
successful at counterterrorism and even counter-guerilla warfare, the application of his 
style of by Aussaresses’ aggressive questioning of all suspects apprehended under the 
broad Special Powers Law of 12 March 1956 created the conditions that fostered 
nationalism among formerly neutral or disinterested Algerians. 

'Simon Murray, Legionnaire: An Englishman in the French Foreign Legion 
(London, UK: Pan Books, 2000), 63. 

Alexis de Tocqueville, 1841-Extract of Travail sur TAlgerie, in (Euvres 
completes (Gallimard: Plei'ade, 1991), 704 and 705. 

Lucien-Fran 9 ois de Montagnac, Lettres d'un soldat (Paris: Christian Destremeau, 
1998), 153. 

"^Marnia Lanzareg, Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad 
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 265. 

^Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (Fort 
Feavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press, 1985), 21. 


’ibid., 20. 


Martin S. Alexander, and J.F.V. Keiger, eds., France and the Algerian War 
1954-62: Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy (Fondon, UK: Frank Cass, 2002), x. 

^Mouloud Feraoun, Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War 
(Fincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 87. 

'>id., 108. 

''Robert D. Ramsey, III, Occasional Paper (OP) 24, Savage Wars of Peace: Case 
Studies of Pacification in the Philippines 1900-1902 (Fort Feavenworth, KS: Combat 
Studies Institute Press, 2008), I55-I56. 

'^Trinquier, Mot/ern Warfare, 23. 


Feraoun, Jowma/, 166. 


'"^Alistair Home, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: 
The Viking Press, 1978), 180-182. 

' ^Feraoun, Jowma/, 167. 

'^Ted Morgan, My Battle of Algiers: A Memoir (New York, NY: Smithsonian 
Books, 2005), 91. 

'^Horne, H Savage War of Peace, 173. 

'^Ibid., 174. 

'^Paul Aussaresses, The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 
in Algeria 1955-1957 (New York, NY: Enigma Books, 2002), 133. 

^>id., 137-140. 

^W., 141. 


Feraoun, Journal, 191. 

Henri Alleg, The Question (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), 

24 ' 

Patrick Rotman, “L’ennemi intime [The Best of Enemies],” episode 3, “Etats 
d’armes,” 2002, documentary fdm, (disc 3, “The Battle of Algiers,” The Criterion 
Collection, 2004). 


Horne, A Savage War of Peace, 176. 


Philippe Fran 9 ois, “Waging Counterinsurgency in Algeria: A French Point of 
View,” Military Review (September-October 2008): 65 

^^Alleg, The Question, 46. 


John Talbott, “The Strange Death of Maurice Audin,” Virginia Quarterly 
Review (Spring 1976), 
(accessed 3 November 2009). 

^^Morgan, My Battle of Algiers, 258-262. 

^°Trinquier, Modern Warfare, 22. 




The French have not been very subtle in their treatment of Arabs in the 
towns either. The Battle of Algiers in 1957 must have lost them many friends. 

- Simon Murray, Legionnaire^ 

Comparison to the Global War on Terror—The Long War 

In Algeria, Afghanistan or Iraq, limited insurgencies challenged the capabilities of 

a world-class military. The French-Algerian war lasted from 1954 to 1962 and ended 

with Algerian independence. The GWOT, begun in 2001, continues today despite a 

much-publicized public message of mission accomplishment in Iraq in 2003. While the 

casus belli for war in each location was distinctive, the insurgencies in each country 

brought terror to the populations while also targeting infrastructure and institutions. 

Similarly, counteractions against the insurgencies by the French and U.S. militaries, 

perceived or publicized as reprisals, served to alienate the populations involved further 

from the existing governments. Most significantly, the unwillingness to reject torture and 

provide sufficient security has been and was the greatest shortcoming in each case. 

In both France and America, the rule of law is a strong component in the culture 

of morality and ethics. Legitimacy of each government is balanced among all three 

elements. Unethical or immoral laws do not long endure. Immoral or unethical behaviors 

are punished, often in both professional organizations and in courts of law. Laws, ethics, 

and morality are dynamic and evolving. In order to maintain legitimacy, a government 

must ensure laws keep up with changing ethics and morals when society progresses 

beyond previously held beliefs. Similarly, legitimate governments pass laws to prevent 

erosion of morals and ethics in order to preserve society. This dynamic balance and 


cooperative proeess is eritieal for maintenanee of legitimate authority of a government 
that ealls upon the blood and treasure of its eitizens for defense and in order to flourish. 

The Freneh war in Algeria was simultaneously a domestic effort to maintain a 
dwindling empire and an internal war against international eommunism waged on home 
soil. From the Algerian perspeetive, the war was an effort to achieve independenee from 
non-representative and despotie Freneh rule. In eontrast, the U.S. led invasions of both 
Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 represented a strategie foreign poliey to prevent 
war on American soil. The speeifie aims were to overthrow the governments of the 
Taliban and of Saddam Hussein, respeetively, and to proteet Ameriean territory and lives 
from foreign adversaries using these eountries as safe-havens, and both as training and 
launehing sites for attaeks on Ameriea. From the eontrarian perspeetive, erities argued 
that the GWOT was a dual effort to impose Western-style hegemony and misappropriate 
rieh Persian Gulf states’ oil resources. 

Whether beeause of eonquest or liberation, the war against the U.S. and its 
eoalition by the remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan; the Ba’ath government of 
Saddam Hussein in Iraq, other Iraqi elements, and other foreign fighters, whether aligned 
with al Qaeda or not; was very different from the Algerian insurgeney or independenee 
movement against France. Nevertheless, there were similarities between the Algerian 
insurgeney and that whieh the diverse international eombatants waged in the GWOT. 
Understanding these similarities and differenees is neeessary to wage a sueeessful and, 
most importantly, effeetive eounterinsurgeney. Critieal to suecess is explieit eomplianee 
with international land warfare laws regarding prisoners of war status for legitimate 
eombatants or proseeution under established eriminal law with diselosure and the myriad 


attendant requirements of the adversarial process. To treat any captured personnel 
differently, regardless of their actions, invites reprisals and the inevitable descent towards 
isolation and barbarism once more. 

According to both Roger Trinquier and David Galula, modem or revolutionary 
warfare is a contest for the support of the general population. Contemporary U.S. Army 
counterinsurgency doctrine borrows heavily from the writings of both Trinquier and 
Galula. Security of the population from acts of terrorism serves to prevent support to an 
insurgency. Furthermore, security provides an environment for collection of information 
regarding the operations of insurgent forces. When the population feels protected and 
perceives that effective security comes from the legitimate government, residents of the 
protected population provide useful information on the location and activity of 
insurgents. If left unprotected, even the part of the population that supports the legitimate 
government has little recourse other than begmdging aid to the insurgents or a choice 
with inevitable consequences. As a result, both Trinquier and Galula noted that terror was 
a weapon system employed by the insurgent to subjugate the population and to 
demonstrate the impotence or indifference of the legitimate government to the conditions 
of the population. 

When the French military adopted torture of the Algerian population, they 
demonstrated immoral and unethical behavior from the perspective of both neutral 
Algerians and domestic French public opinion. The Algerians moved to support the FLN 
while the French public expressed its displeasure to spend blood and treasure on further 
acts of discriminatory warfare. The erosion of support in France and the growing support 
of the FLN against France was a result of the loss of legitimacy in French ideals. 


Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American foreign policy makers and military 
leaders alike expected approval and support from the Iraqi population to establish a new 
government in place of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party. Yet, when the military was 
disbanded and the Ba’ath party outlawed, former Iraqi government leaders and other 
Ba’ath party members were able to co-opt the disenfranchised soldiers much as the FLN 
in Algeria included alienated former French army Muslim soldiers. As a result, in both 
cases the insurgents took advantage of inadequate security to cripple infrastructure, 
foment instability, acquire weapons and ammunition from unsecured military storage 
facilities, and conduct guerilla warfare. 

The Iraqi population, caught in the midst of the guerilla tactics, responded 
unfavorably to “cordon and search” operations and began to support the insurgents 
actively or started to organize religious and ethnic sectarian militias. Following legitimate 
elections of a transitional government, security improved with the addition of U.S. 
military forces and a new partnership to reestablish Iraqi security forces. As Iraqi national 
forces gained credibility with the population, confidence in the government improved and 
the insurgents’ ability to manipulate the population dwindled. While the final outcome 
from this cooperation-and-partnership approach, as well as the growing potential of Iraq 
and its security forces has not been determined, the attention given to avoiding reprisals 
against the population by U.S. military forces has thus far prevented unification of 
disparate ethnic, political, and religious groups into a common insurgency. 

The same may not be said of the GWOT in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a larger 
country than Iraq, in terms of territory, with a more diverse population. Security forces 
used heavy-handed measures conventionally to make up for a lack of personnel. These 


measures have not proteeted the residents. An insurgeney in Afghanistan may endure as 
long as Afghanis do not feel seeure from a return of the Taliban and al Qaeda or if they 
fear an attaek from U.S. unmanned drone aireraft, bombs, or artillery. 

Of primary importanee in all aspeets of GWOT is the righteousness of U.S. ideals 
and prineiples. “Ameriean leaders must understand that in eounterinsurgeney war, the 
moral eomponent ean be strategieally deeisive.”^ Whether persons are detained at 
Guantanamo Bay or in the U.S., whether they have better aeeommodations than 
eriminals—in their home eountries or not—it is vital that the international eommunity not 
lose eonfidenee in U.S. adherenee to international law. The international eommunity’s 
support is neeessary for eontinued operations in the GWOT just as the support of the 
Freneh population of 1954-1962 was neeessary to pay for a large foree in Algeria. The 
addition of forees and extension of duty allowed the Freneh to pursue fellagha as never 
before. By adopting immoral and unethieal taeties, their initial sueeesses proved 
eounterproduetive. The U.S. must maintain striet adherenee to existing international law 
regarding torture and treatment of both prisoners of war and eriminals detained on the 
battlefield in the GWOT or risk either widening the fight or losing support. Both 
prospeets plaee U.S. seeurity at greater peril. Ultimately, any forees employed are rightly 
eautioned to heed Galula’s adviee regarding outward professionalism and inward 

Despite the differenees in justifieation for war in Algeria and either Afghanistan 
or Iraq, the eonduet of eounterinsurgeney by Freneh forees and terrorist aetivity targeting 
eivilians, infrastrueture, and institutions provided U.S. forees a vital edueation in 
unexpeeted eonsequenees. Even a small insurgeney may ehallenge the eapability of a 


world-class military. Providing security to the population and yet avoiding reprisals 
beeomes a daunting task. 

Whether the threat is politieal instability, eeonomie exploitation, or eriminal 
aetivity, it is vital that due proeess and rule of law be maintained as a primary 
eonsideration for both political and military leaders. Legitimaey and effectiveness are 
equally important to the eounterinsurgent. The study of historical lessons, even when 
under different eircumstanees, provides examples of both good and bad, right and wrong, 
providing insight for success and, just as important, foreshadowing failures to avoid. 

'Simon Murray, Legionnaire: An Englishman in the French Foreign Legion 
(London, UK: Pan Books, 2000), 63. 


Lou DiMarco, “Losing the Moral Compass: Torture and Guerre Revolutionaire 
in the Algerian War,” Parameters (Summer 2006): 76. 



Figure 1. New York Journal cartoon 
Source: “Kill Every One Over Ten,” New York Journal, 5 May 1902 

y >» ly nxm 

0 M <oo iM km 

0t th» WMvjmt 

Figure 2. Map of Algeria 

Source: Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: The 
Viking Press, 1977), 10-11. 


Source: Martin Windrow, The Algerian War: 1954-1962 (New York, NY: Osprey 
Publishing Ltd., 2005), 4. 


l9*>a Static 

Figure 4. Map of the eity of Algiers 

Source: Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York, NY: The 

Viking Press, 1977), 12. 




'tV'; ^ 

Novembre 1956. 

CV.s/ en junvier 1957 que I'aclivile rehelle aneindra, a Alger, son maximum d’inicnsiti. Commc le monireni 
CCS cartes ciabUes par la gendarmerie naiionale, le terrorisme, des le mois de fevrier et aprds I'ecliec de la 
greve, sera en regression. 

Mars 1957. Avril 1957. 

Figure 5. The Vietory Over Terrorism-The Smallpox Chart* 

Source: Jaeques Massu, “La Vietoire Sur le Terrorisme” (La Vraie Bataille d’Alger, 
Librairie Plon, 1971), photo inserts between 332 and 333). 

*La Vietoire Sur le Terrorisme. 



Table 1. Guilty Verdicts from August 1957 (Algiers Military Tribunal)^ 

Rebel Activity 






Nature of sentences 

Violation of the 
safety of the State 

Criminal association 

Possession of illegal 

Conspiracy to attempt 






ment of 
who gave 
asylum to 
the Chiefs 
of the 




Prison: 2 years 



3 years 





4 years 




5 years 




Forced labor and: 

- 5 to 10 years 





10 to 20 years 




















Total Death Sentences 



(a) For the record, these individuals who were faulted in point of fact were not making an 

(b) The two condemned attempted to give asylum to the two chiefs: AMAR Ali alias 


Source: Jacques Massu, La Vraie Bataille d’Alger (Ea Vraie Bataille d’Alger, Eibrairie 
Plon, 1971), 379. 

^Condemnations deMois d’Aout 1957 (T.P.F.A d Alger), where T.P.F.A. is the 
shortened version of Tribunal Permanent des Forces Armees. 



ALN {Armee de Liberation Nationale). Military wing of the FLN. 

Bled. Arabic word for the vast open countryside. 

Colon. European colonist or settler of Algeria. 

DPU (Dispositif de Protection Urbain). City protection deployment of the block warden 
system (also see quadrillage). 

Fellagha. Arabic word for bandit. Name given to Algerian rebels. 

FLN {Front de Liberation Nationale). Originally an Algerian group which started to bid 
for independence from France and later became the official voice of the Algerian 
freedom movement 

Gegene. Electrical device used for torture. 

Harki. Algerian soldier fighting with the French army. 

Mechta. Arabic word for dwelling or village. 

OAS {Organisation de Larmee secrete). Secret army founded by French civilians in 
Algeria with the aim of preventing Algerian independence. 

Pieds noir. Literally “black feet” in French. Refers to a European colonist. Also see 

Quadrillage. The block warden system of cordon and separation of areas by French army 
units in the French-Algerian War. Promoted by Colonel Roger Trinquier in his 
book, Modern Warfare: A French View on Counter-insurgency. 

SAS {Sections Administrative Specialisees). The French army civil-military cooperation 




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